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president is not asking for -- he is asking for authority to raise the debt debt ceiling. you point out rightly in the constitution it is congress' job to deal with that. what he is asking for is legal authority to do that, and to president obama has not argued that he has inherent authority to do that. some others have argued that. some others have argued president that the authority to raise the debt ceiling. president obama has not asked for that and ask for congress to provide him a short-term legal authority to raise the debt ceiling. there may be some confusion exactly on what the president had asked for. but he has asked for the legal authority to raise the debt ceiling for a short term, i guess two-year. with regards to paying for
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things, you know, i'd threat -- can't agree with all of your points but i agree with your basic will go because there is always a disconnect between what is provided to folks, whether it is the gas tax that goes to building roads and highways that people use every day but not realizing that they are paying for that. a variety of other things that people use that the tax system paid for but not realizing that connection. so the whole idea you bring up, stephen, that you believe that -- to connect the taxes they are paying with what they are getting in some respects, i agree with you and that is one of the challenges. on the first point, i take exception to you saying that my request for raising the cap on social security is a knee-jerk reaction. knee-jerk reaction is a description of somebody just sort of making a decision without thinking about it. i have put a lot of thought on
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the issue. you and i may disagree on the best solution but i put a lot of thought into it and i think it is the best solution. it may be a solution i am not successful at achieving in terms of a final deal. but if you want to look at the long-term solvency of social security, it is a great way to address it. >> -- host: just a few thoughts, first from our facebook page from a viewer. guest: on the first point about
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dreams versus reality, i think that what happened last night on capitol hill, the house republican conference will, in fact, help folks realize that it is going to take a bipartisan bill. you can't rely on all democrats or all republicans. you need a mix of folks to bass the kind of long-term deficit reduction that is a balanced approach to bring certainty to the markets and investment into the whole economy that will then result in job growth and economic growth. the second point with regards to -- i think 11% congressional approval ratings. in of said, they generally agree, we need to do more to deserve even a 11% at this point of -- at this point.
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host: headlines -- from "the wall street journal," boehner's "b collapses. caller: good morning. i just want to make a couple of comments. the republican caller who just called talking about paying for -- everything has to be paid for but they never go back and talk about the eight years we had with the bush tax cuts when nothing was paid for and there were no meetings being held on how we can go ahead and pay for these wars. and the doughnut hole they had no way of paying for and now we are trying to find a way to pay for it. the republican earlier said obama is not trying to make any progress and does not have a plan bang but still $1.60 trillion in cuts and they did not have any revenue. they did not want to talk about
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revenue. and whenever the president -- the president because he is authorized to leave the country, we voted them him and they did not want to give support. they do not agree with anything he does. whether it helps america or defeats america. they made up their mind whatever obama's as we are against it. if that helps america, it does not matter because we said over eight years ago we did not want him and will not support anything he does. we want the white house back -- in essence what they are doing they are making it better for america. the republicans will never return to the white house because they will never be for all americans. guest: george reminds me of a great line from a groucho marx movie but soup -- whatever it is, i am against it. that is a refrain in the song in the movie by the marx brothers. it is kind of what it seems like with some of the tea party
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republicans, what ever it is obama comes up with, they are against it. that is not how we move the country forward on any number of issues and certainly not regarding the fiscal cliff negotiations. the president has put forward a plan that includes about $1.20 trillion in tax revenue by increasing the tax rate on people making $400,000 of income are more as well as capping deductions to 20% of income, which will impact higher impactful as well. and by the same token it maintains tax cuts for 98% of all americans. 97% of all small businesses. he balances it out by proposing $1.20 trillion in cuts and
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interest savings and that is the kind of longer-term balanced approach that needs to take place. regarding the first point on paying for things, i think you are right, one of the frustrating things is that -- and the democrats are guilty of this, too, and i did not want to say it is only republicans. but we did have 10 years in afghanistan and seven and so years in iraq and have not paid for those wars. and we are paying for it now in the form of higher deficits. while it has contributed to higher deficits but the deficit issue is even a more structural problem in the federal budget. host: 3 problems from the facebook page --
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guest: regarding the last point i am not sure the judgment either understands the whole side of the budget -- how large it is. the deficit -- what this policy approach might mean for the budget. the second issue about the president rejected offers. the last offer on the table is the president's offer. the president started at increase in the tax rates on income over $250,000 and mr. boehner bay -- mr. boehner offered a million dollars and the president moved his direction, the direction of mr.
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boehner to raising tax rates of income for hundred thousand dollars or more and threw in something as i said earlier that democrats really do not like, the change in the cpi for social security and cuts as well. that is the last offer on the table. that has been the object -- rejected to date by republicans. we can argue about whether the president has rejected offers but clearly the last offer at the table is the president's offer and it was moving toward republican position. everyone assumed it was negotiation and the republican leadership will come -- would come back with something else but instead of talking, the walk. host: the threshold now $400,000 for households, $1.20 trillion in federal spending and changing the inflation measure for future social security benefit increases. a general outline of the president's proposal.
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laura is joining us from florida. independent line. caller: good morning. i just don't believe it is still going on. i cannot believe that because we saw how trickle-down affected not work and we are trying to go back to the clinton years when it did work and they don't want any part of it. i don't understand it, when something works, go with it. guest: a very pragmatic approach that sometimes in congress we have difficult getting towards period absolutely right. as a democrat active in the new democratic coalition, more moderate democrats. for us as moderate democrats, it is kind of a back to the future moment. the new coalition started in the mid-1990s in the clinton administration. the new dems were part of helping to put together the
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budget package that resulted in surpluses in the late 1990's. i say it is a back to the future moment because modern dems are in the same position now to be able to help craft a balanced longer-term deficit reduction approach that not everyone will like. there will be plenty of things people will not like the longer term, 10 years down the road, we will be a stronger country for it, the budget will be sustainable and we will be able to move forward. i understand your frustration about why can't you be pragmatic. we need to be pragmatic and work but politics on it but i agreed that we need to grab the opportunity to do the right thing. host: this is referring to the speaker of the house -- we are going to hear from the speaker at 10:00 eastern time. from your vantage point, is he bargaining from a position of
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strength and will he be the speaker in the 113th congress? guest: regarding the second question, it is up to republicans what they decide to do about their leadership. after what happened last night on capitol hill i don't see -- i am trying to be objective but i did not say how the republicans will be negotiating from a position of strength and house of representatives -- in the house of representatives. that is where it is. we will see what happens today. host: chris joining us from philadelphia, democrats' line with representative rick larsen from washington state. caller: thank you, c-span, for what you provide the american people. i find this whole situation ironic. the fiscal cliff scares me
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personally -- and i think president obama certainly has shown his willingness to compromise whereas the republicans and tea party do not seem to want to do so. this ideology they are sticking to will ruin our economy and i find it hypocritical because their chief criticism of the president during the presidential campaign was his mismanagement of our economy and they are willing to mismanage our economy down the drain on some principal. it does not seem they care about the american people. they care about the part of the american people, the rich, that is what seems like to me and i am sick of it. i used to be republican and i switched party about, i guess eight or 10 years ago. which has something to do with philadelphia politics as well because you cannot have much say in philadelphia politics unless you are democrat but that is beside the point.
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guest: i will not cast aspersions on motivations of my republican colleagues and i hope they did not do it, either. the fact is, the parties do have a different approach on how to address the fiscal cliff. no question about it. the challenge we have to face is to bridge the differences. that is what congress in the past used to do and this congress needs to learn to do that. it is as simple as that. hopefully we will get it done. it does mean something for not just the economy but the impact on the average milk class family. host: congressman rick larsen, a democrat from washington state, thank you for being with us. guest: merry christmas. bring you up-to-date on where things stand. a statement from the speaker of the house late yesterday following what many called the collapse of his plan b, and ability to bring the -- bring it
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on the floor. he admitted in the statement -- the house did not take up the tax measure today -- the speaker pointing out the house already pass legislation to stop all the jenna refers tax increases -- a statement from senator harry reid --
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this headline from we are joined on the phone live with mary from "roll call." some news the speaker will address questions with reporters in about 45 minutes. what is your first question for him? guest: i guess the first question i would have to ask is what next. clearly republicans thought this was the way to start the legislative process to get to the final deal. a few things to keep in mind is even if the speaker had been able to pass the plan this would in no way would resemble what the end product was going to be because the senate has vowed not to take it up and the president said he would veto a bill that was looking like the backup plan -- letting taxes increase
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for incomes over a million dollars once all of the tax cuts are set to expire january 1. what is next for him? does he need centering harry reid and senator mcconnell to negotiate something and send it to him? he has some thinking to do and he is going to have to deal with his caucus. if he gets something sent to him that already has republican votes from the other chamber he will be able to pass it. but the what next question is on everybody's mind. host: what is the path forward for the white house, according to what you and others are reporting -- officials expecting along knight were surprised just past 8:that the vote was canceled. expecting the house would have been in session will past midnight. as the white house tries to assess the political landscape, what the president do? guest: i would be interested to see. he was the pros -- supposed to leave for hawaii for his
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christmas vacation today. i do not think it would happen. this morning around 10:30 a.m. for the national -- at the national cathedral for the funeral. i did not know what he does next. democrats have been saying all along they were prepared to go over the cliff if they were not presented with a deal they thought was acceptable. i think it is possibly even at this point looks likely to happen. and then they would have to move on what is next. they always believed from a strategic perspective that if they went over the cliff, all of the taxes would expire and any thing the house republicans would pass from then on out would be a tax cut as opposed to a tax increase. this has been a rhetorical proposition that was put out by even senator patty murray as early as last july. the funny thing what is when you heard top republican talkers and leadership discussing the vote
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that was supposed to be happening last night that is how they phrased it. not a tax hike but letting rates rise on an income where it was already set to rise anyway. use of a subtle shifts. you saw the piece is in place. but you remember when we were talking about the debt ceiling in 2011, we saw this. speaker boehner tried to put his own plan on the floor, thursday night, state until midnight in could not do what and had to come back and explain himself monday morning and a few days later there was no agreement. it did not come from the speaker of president and not from house republicans alone. significant resistance from senate majority leader harry reid and senator minority leader mitch mcconnell and pass later nancy pelosi. >host: following a busy week -- appreciate your time in perspective. her work is available online at
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i live coverage of the news conference will get underway at 11:00 eastern time -- 10:00 eastern time, i should say, c- span. we would take a short break. when we come back we will talk about the benghazi report, what it means for the administration. josh rogin who is following the story at "foreign-policy" magazine is at the table. >> if you work for them, you would get a material, sometimes
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generous, sometimes overbearing, sometimes almost coal balls -- cruel boss. he did not know how to apologize, which men of his age and class -- they are not going to apologize to a young private secretary, a typist. he had a way of sort of turning the tables and his version of the apology would say, actually, i am a very kind man and you are doing a very good job today. the issue is never settles. he always had to get the last word in. one night going through whitehall, a gentleman bomb fell nearby. he should not been out at all. and his bodyguard inspector thompson pushed him in a doorway. and a couple of thompson's men were slightly wounded. churchill did not like to be touched. and he said, thompson, don't do that. thompson said, sir, you
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shouldn't be out here. this is dangerous. churchill said i am only doing this because i know live -- you love to. >> sunday, extended 90 minute " q&a" by paul reed, chosen to complete the volume on volume of manchester's three-volume by ever fee of "winston churchill." sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a." >> "washington journal" continues. host: josh rogin from "foreign- policy" magazine. mid-level officials taking the fall in benghazi. your assessment? guest: tuesday and wednesday we finally got the report from the accountability review board, the state department's own internal report, on the september 11 attack on the u.s. mission in benghazi that killed ambassadors christie and and three other americans. what the report told us was there were gross security failures in benghazi, that the
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mission was inadequately staffed and inadequately secured. and unprepared for the attack that happened. it assign blame to two bureaus -- the bureau of diplomatic security, the bureau of near eastern affairs, and the head of that board, former undersecretary of state thomas. and former joint chiefs chairman admiral mike mullen determine the blame should fall at the assistant secretary level, midlevel your credit manager. not political appointees. these are foreign service officers and government employees who had careers in the state department, positions of decision making. what is interesting is that only one official actually resigned, eric boswell, the head of diplomatic security. three other officials were placed on administrative leave. that administrative leave could go one of two leaves. it could be fired or fight for their rights and be reassigned. the point here is that the state
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department is presenting this as the end of the road in terms of the accountability. senior level officials secretary clinton, deputy secretary eric burns, undersecretary for management patrick kennedy, all of whom may have had insight as to what was going on in benghazi will apparently not be disciplined. it remains to be seen whether it is enough to satisfy the critics of the administration. host: let's talk about the politics of this hearing. the session yesterday morning began at 8:00 eastern time, senate foreign relations committee chaired by senator john kerry who by all accounts will likely to be tapped as next secretary of state. the afternoon session that took place in the house of representatives. let's share the common, and runs about 30 seconds, of senator john kerry also appointed blame on capitol hill. guest: congress -- >> congress share some responsibility. congress has the power of the purse. we use it for any number of
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things. it is our responsibility. for years we ask our state department to operate with increasingly less resources to conduct a central missions. and because of the gridlock and access is in the senate and congress itself, we have not even been able to pursue the regular order of authorizing legislation. that must change. and in the next session of the congress i hope it will. host: the statement by senator john kerry. he did not ask any questions. guest: john kerry is in a little bit of a unique position because he is about to be the head of the department he is currently overseeing. he is trying to play it very carefully and not exacerbates the conflict of interest and i think he actually hit the mark pretty well. what we are talking about is the fact that congress has been cutting funding from the state department or this of what -- diplomatic security in recent years. it has been a bipartisan effort. it is not clear had they had more funds that would have used
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those in benghazi because, of course, one of the things the state department report revealed is benghazi was dedicated as a temporary mission. it was not seen as a permanent facility. so, it was not given a high priority. they have three diplomatic security agencies in benghazi. in baghdad, by comparison, 200. is baghdad 100 times more dangerous than benghazi? apparently not. so, it is an issue of organization, an issue of priority, how the department spends its money. but it got wrapped into the idea that, wait a minute, diplomats in dangerous parts of the world need protection and we need to fund them. and that has become wrapped into the larger debate whether or not we should spend our gowdy resources on the state department during a time of fiscal austerity. host: here is a follow-up from senator bob corker who will take over as the ranking republican in the senate foreign relations committee in the 113th congress. [video clip]
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>> you were fully aware and either you send people there with a security or you send them there. i don't understand why you did not send a notification out, but the cables coming in, with concerns about security, why didn't you do just what you did with this -- seeking additional funds? i did not understand. the appropriations committee has never received from the state department a notification asking to shift funds for security in benghazi. i just want you to tell me why that didn't happen. you do it all the time. it happens almost weekly. >> senator, as you know, we are constantly evaluating our security posture. we are constantly reevaluating where we need funds. and we are constantly by winning the current situation on the ground in all of our countries. as you are well aware, we have risks all over the world and we are constantly evaluating and determining -- and clearly, as it points out, mistakes occurred. we need to look at those mistakes. we need to establish -- examine
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those mistakes and hold ourselves accountable and we need to figure out how to make sure this does not happen again. as i should point out, as you know, we get this right about 95% of the time. we would like to be at 100%. host: the statement from thomas nides who took the question. we not heard from secretary clanton. will she testify? guest: she has been ill and had a stomach virus and fainted and had a concussion. she is working from home this week. she has promised to testify in january. thomas nides will be the one implementing the recommendations so he would be in a position to look fully fixed the problems. but isn't it interesting, bob corker about to take over as head of the -- had republican at the senate foreign relations issue, talking about a culture at the state department focuses on saving funds and look of the places to cut security rather than increase security, and that
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is true. that culture exists. that is a problem. it has been borne out and several other instances and reports that produced several other recommendations that were not implemented. this is an unprecedented tragedy and no doubt the amount of attention on this tragedy and on the report that it came from will lead to a more aggressive implementation of these fixes. but that is sort of like closing the barn door after the horses have already left. so, the question now is, what can congress do to oversee the is implementation? what senator john kerry mentioned and what bob corker mention in the part of the clip you did not show is they want to make the senate foreign relations committee relevant again. it is a pretty powerless, feckless committee, it has been for years. what i want to do is they want to start and authorization process, they want to start having better oversight of diplomacy in the state department, and hopes that this will hold to -- lead to better coordination and hopefully have of incidents like this in the
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future. we will see whether or not it will be a successful effort by bob corker. host: this is from tony irvine -- guest: it is a complicated story. what happened was the obama administration came in in 2009 with an increase the importance and relevance of diplomacy and development alongside the fed's. they requested huge increases for the state department, especially in iraq, afghanistan, and pakistan, where the wars are ongoing. they receive those increases. in 2010, the situation changed when the house was taken over by the republicans. all told, they are a bit ahead of where they were when the obama administration came in, and that is not to say that things have not gotten more complicated. the responsibility falls on the
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state department. how are they supposed to protect all the people they have there? these are serious and expensive issues. while the state department has seen some problems, they are under attack? never before. host: guest: ambassador stevensow into benghazi in the middle of the revolution in 2011 and started to help the rebels, which at that time were just rebels, no control of any city. he stayed in a hotel and worked to court made international support for the rebels. he was not even the massacre at the time. after the rebels won the war, he said of this compound as a temporary facility, which the report is critical of. it was a failure and a precursor to this incident, the fact that this mission was deemed a
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temporary facility which allow the state department to neglect security requirements that would have been put in place had been declared an official consulate. that is a huge part of the story. ambassador stevens believed that because he had been such a good friend of the libyan people, especially in benghazi, as they were struggling, that he had a relative amount of safety. he is often described as a man that would eat at local restaurants, he would meet people wherever they were. it is not totally clear why he was in benghazi that night but he did have a light security contingent, which was part of his decision the bottom line is our diplomats have to get outside the walls. we cannot build fortresses and embassies. that defeats the purpose of having them there. christopher stevens may not have hit that balance perfectly right but he worked so hard for so
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long on behalf of the people of benghazi, he thought that they had his back. --: a tweet has there been a cover-up? guest: there has been no proof that there was intentional misleading. there has been a lot of confusion at the high levels of the administration throughout the first month or so after the attack. what most people talk about with a cover up is the fact that administration officials, including un ambassador susan rice, attributed this to the spontaneous reaction to an anti- islam video that had caused a protest in cairo. we all know that story. susan rice said that she said
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that based on intelligence talking points at the time which turned out to be wrong. republicans in congress and mitt romney decided to accuse the administration of intentionally trying to mislead the american people. i cannot say that they were honest 100% of the time, or that they lied about this or that -- we just do not know. we know that their understanding of the sequence of events from september 11 have evolved, as the state department makes clear. there was the protest, it was not related to what was going on in cairo for this film, and there was some level of coordination and planning. was that coordination a few hours, a few days or months? we do not know. that is not inside the scope of the state department report. that is the scope of a separate fbi and cia investigation.
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a big part of the story is that the and that's that was attacked was populated mostly by c a personnel. the cia and state department did not have a great understanding of how they were going to respond to an attack like this, if it were to happen. security arrangements were not well understood. that is all part of the investigation that we do not know. i cannot say that there was a cover-up, that there was not a cover-up. we can say with confidence that mistakes were made and the initial telling of the store was not how it actually went down . host: josh rogin writes for "foreign policy"magazine. next phone call. caller: talking .
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host: about the republicans and the benghazi thing, none of them seem to be answered the question, what are we doing to get the terrorists that killed the ambassador and those others? it seems the focus is on president obama and susan rice. guest: a perfectly legitimate question. we know some things about the attackers. they seemed to be members of very different groups of islamic extremists. one of them is a group that is loosed but has some ties to al qaeda. some of the perpetrators in those attacks have been spotted in libya and have even done interviews and do not seem to be in danger of being arrested by the libyan government. on the other hand, the libyan government has made four arrests, and we do not have good insight into what is happening with those people.
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there was one man arrested in turkey, transferred to to misha, without much access by u.s. officials. again, this is what the fbi and cia are doing, hunting for these people. we are led to believe there are option being prepared to either kill or capture them. that is a tricky issue. can we kill or capture of the people inside libya? do we need their support, are they helping us? the fbi is being criticized because they did not arrive on the scene until weeks after the attack, after journalists and passerby's had picked through the rubble finding all kinds of classified stuff. it is a legitimate and unanswered question. we have a rough idea of who the attackers are, we are not clear on how far the investigation is, at this point. a lot of people are waiting to see what that response will be. host: ? writes -- josh rogin
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writes -- brian is with us from michigan. republican line. caller: good morning. one of the questions i have had since the beginning is where was the president and secretary of state? did they see this going down in real time? i have not heard that question asked. i hope you can answer both questions. why did these recent three or
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four leave the state department? what did they do wrong to leave? will they be subpoenaed, will they be asked to come and testify? guest: as for real-time surveillance, what we know now is that there was some surveillance of the attack. apparently there was an unarmed drone that was quickly deploy that captured some of the attack. we also learned that there was testimony that the deputy assistant secretary who was in charge of the embassy security was monitoring these events in real time along with a couple of other people. we are not sure whether the cia and defense department were monitoring, but it is possible they were. president obama had a full schedule. he was in the middle of the campaign that day. he was being briefed but was not monitoring. the same could be said for
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hillary clinton. so why did these people leave? eric boswell was a political supervisor. he simply resigned. the other officials were placed on administrative leave. they are federal employees. they have the right to a process. they will have their day in court if they choose to avail themselves of that. the report faulted two departments, the near east department, the regional bureau, and the diplomatic security. they thought of them with two things. ifill to coordinate an advance what the needs were to make sure that the people were safe in case something happened. they also faulted them because there were specific requests for security that were denied it, and the people that denied that testify that they denied it
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based on merit, that they did not think it was necessary. the leaders of the board that reviewed this disagreed and said apparently it was. not clear whether and if they had those extra resources if they would have been able to repel this attack, but it is actually quite rare for four people to be relieved of their duties in the state department. there is a lot of skepticism that the fault, blame should be cut off at that level without any senior officials paying the price. host: a follow up on your earlier point. who changed susan rice's talking points from what was originally presented by the cia? guest: this is a matter of some dispute. the issue is that the talking points that susan rice used on september 16 on several tv shows did not use the words al qaeda, terrorism, despite the fact that president obama had referred to
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the attack as an act of terror in the immediate aftermath. this led to charges by the romney campaign and several senate republicans that they were downplaying the attack. it is a dispute over who exactly changed it. was it the white house or intelligence community? my reporting has borne out that the talking points were changed at the intelligence community level. inside, there was a debate about whether it was the cia or the office of the theidirector of national intelligence. it is the latter, it is an indication that this might be politicized. host: josh rogin writes for "foreign policy" magazine. a hearing took place -- two
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yesterday -- one on the senate side, one on the house side. they are available on our website at terry is on the phone. georgia. good morning. caller: i have a quick comment and question. to me, there is no accountability in the justice system in washington. like petraeus, he had had enough. high level of security. will there be any criminal charges, just like with benghazi, with these people involved? are there going to be any criminal charges brought up against them? i know they can just resigned, but is that the end of it, when they resigned? there was a schoolteacher that had an affair with her classmates and she got five
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years in prison. i do not hear anything out of petraeus. will there be any accountability for these people behind all this? guest: i am not sure if you are asking if they will be charged in the petraeus or benghazi case. amid tackle both of those. in the petraeus case, it seems there will not be charges, although his alleged mistress stands accused of e-mail intimidation, unauthorized access to classified information. as for the benghazi issue, the three officials placed on administrative leave and one official who resigned were not found by the internal review board to have intentionally disobeyed orders or have engaged in any misconduct at was will fall. in other words, the criminality lies in the intent. you can be incompetent and not
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criminal and you can make mistakes and not have violated the law, and you can violate the policies and rules of your job and still not be subject to jail time. that is what the accountability review board said, that these people were liable but not criminal. i do not see any other process bringing them to some sort of justice that would force them to face jail time. the bottom line is, the guilt and responsibility for these attacks lies primarily with the attackers. the priority, i think, should be finding them and holding them accountable. of course, changes will have to be made in our government and perhaps more heads will roll, bureaucratically, but i do not expect any criminal charges on the u.s. side. >host: how underfunded is the state department? guest: it depends on how you
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look at it, what you think the state department possible to responsibilities should be. yesterday at the house foreign affairs committee, there was a big show about how the state department has a culinary diplomacy program where they send people around the world to share culinary ideas and tips, education. this is an element of what the state department does. gary ackerman ridiculed her by saying, just because they spend a little bit of money on culinary diplomacy does not mean that security in benghazi was shortchanged. the state department does a wide range of things from foreign
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aid, to economic support, to arms sales, to educational and cultural diplomacy. all of these things have different values. either you believe these things are important and support american influence and power in the world, and advance american interest by improving america's image, or you do not. many people in congress to not, many do. wherever you start from, that is where that leads you. a separate question is whether these funds are being spent appropriately and efficiently. many argue they are not. the state department is trying to move their focus to things they think can be better justified national security, shifting foreign aid to countries that are unstable. that is their argument. we are not doing this just for the fun of it. we are doing it because it is important to our economic and national security. that battle is being fought right now. >> we welcome our listeners on c-span radio. our guest is josh rogin. helena from augusta, maine. caller: i would like to follow up on the petraeus question.
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i wonder if the report contains any criticism of the former director of the cia, general petraeus. specifically, in my mind, and these are tangentially related. but "the washington post" article this week about the neocon think tankers who apparently had unfettered access in afghanistan for up to one year with general petraeus and how he gave them unfettered access to high-level security issues, knowing that they were funded by major defense contractors, and their role in pushing for the iran intervention. this, to me, speaks of a total lack of judgment. i wonder if there is any connection between possibly an
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investigation of this and general petraeus being preoccupied with this unraveling during the benghazi episode? guest: the state department report was limited to state department activities, therefore, did not examine the role of the cia or then-director david petraeus in the security failures in benghazi. it is a pretty important part of the story, but one part that is shrouded in secrecy, mainly because the cia presence there was shrouded. we're led to believe the fbi and cia arethe state department report was limited to state department doing their own investigations into the story. we are not sure if those will be shared with the general public. that is an unanswered question. the article you refer to, i read it, a great article in the post about how general petraeus, when he was in afghanistan as head of international security forces, had a lot of experts coming through.
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they played a unique role. general petraeus is a unique character in that he played politics in a very savvy way while he was in a sensitive military position. one of the things he did is he would engage the think tanks, congressmen, even reporters, and bring them into his fold. it was a way of coopting them and keeping his reach in washington, so he could influence washington, let washington know that they could influence him. if he had ever a problem with the president or defense administration, he had the people who he felt were part of this team, were in on it appeared that was a successful strategy. it had a lot to do with why general petraeus became the world's most famous and popular general. he was good at building up his network and brand image. fred kagan, who works at the american enterprise institute,
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and his wife, two conservative think tanks. they have been openly pressing for more troops in afghanistan. they were against a withdrawal in iraq. they do have a more conservative, hawkish position on iran. they seem to have more access than anyone else. i was aware of this at the time, a lot of people were aware of it. i do not think anyone believes david petraeus was taking his cues from the kagans, but it does show part of this strategy that he thinks is necessary to learn from and influence people on the far right who are not in the administration, and he did so very skillfully. own investigations into the story. i do not think the article points to any impropriety or illegality. it's just sort of shows you how this man, david petraeus, created this community around him. unfortunately, that community is now irrelevant because he resigned. >host: robert had this on the
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twitter page. everyone knew ben does he was a hotbed for islamic radicals. they should have full security detail. next phone call. caller: hello, i just want to say thank you for allowing me to spend some time talking on your show. i want to ask you, do you think all of this could've been avoided by avoiding the empirical attitude of our country, going into other
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countries and influencing them? caller:guest: it is a legitimatt here there are a lot of people who think that our aggressive outreach in countries is counterproductive. i happen not to share that view but i think it is a legitimate part of the discussion. there are costs and benefits.
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when you look at a country like libya, for example. our intervention definitely help to overthrow a dictator who was guilty of horrendous atrocities for a decade. it also help to create the situation there now which is an unstable and uncertain state, and there are pros and cons to all of this. overall, there is a large consensus in our national security establishment here in washington, in both parties, that our basic approach of being engaged actively in all parts of the world with all instruments of american power, including military, diplomacy, economic leverage, including cultural influence, that that is the right approach. that consensus exists. people like former presidential candidate ron paul, his son rand paul -- them and a bunch of other people disagree with that. they are intended to bring that view into the marketplace of ideas. i am here to tell you that that is not where the center of gravity is. right now, america does have a unique role in the world, we are the guarantor of security in several regions and a lot of countries depend on that. if we're going to change that whole system and diversified power and take america out of the role of policing the world, that is a possibility, but i do not see it happening. host: a question. if the president was not watching in real time, the national security adviser should have been. why didn't he tell the president? guest: we know the president was told about it, he was aware of it as it was going on. the first wave of attacks
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happened in a wave of 30 minutes. there is a lot of unanswered questions, not just what the president should be doing, but what about the national security adviser? these are two men who have responsibility for the whole world. what about the defense department, military assets? if you had one drone, could you have said others, planes? of attacks happened in a wave of 30 minutes. there is a lot of unanswered questions, not just what the presidentthere are a lot into or countries and influencing them? caller:guest: it is a legitimatt here there are a lot of people who think that our aggressive outreach in countries is counterproductive. i happen not to share that view but i think it is a legitimate part of the discussion. there are costs and benefits. when you look at a country like libya, for example. our intervention definitely help to overthrow a dictator who was guilty of horrendous atrocities for a decade. it also help to create the situation there now which is an unstable and of monday morning quarterbacks. they were caught off guard. that is a big part of the story. that is what they're trying to change now. you could focus on president obama or you could focus on david petraeus or hillary clinton. this was a huge security failure and everyone deserves a piece of the blame and i think everyone will have to. host: liz in plano, texas. caller: thank you. i think you answered most of my question this morning. i find it interesting, you actually said what i was thinking repeatedly, so let's take this one step out.
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there is plenty of spending on the credit card for two wars. if we had put that money, or at least a portion of that of mone, into our diplomacy, -- host: i'm going to stop it there because we are short on time. guest: yes, trillions spent on a global war on terror. billions wasted, the economic cost, opportunity lost of all the other things because of them with that money is mind-bogglig to think about. we could suspended on diplomacy, education, infrastructure, taxes. that is a legacy of this isi'm e in of the bush administration. -- of the decision of the bush administration. host: josh rogin, thank you for being with us. we are keeping an eye on wall street and on capitol hill where the speaker of the house will be addressing reporters questions
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following what many are calling the collapse of plan b. it did not come up to a vote in the house of representatives. yesterday we spoke to someone who was following all this for yahoo! finance, there senior columnist. he is with us from new york. yesterday, we spoke about the normalcy of the stock market but today reaction to what happened in washington with stocks tumbling, down more than 120 points. michael, thank you for being with us yet again. what are you looking at, here in washington, what our financial experts telling you? guest: the maneuvers yesterday, the failure to bring the boat disturbed a little bit of an overly comfortable consensus here in washington that a deal was pretty much in the bag. i think we are now having to yesterday, the failure toreconcile the newh
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is nothing likely to happen today. obviously, you want to hear what the speaker has to say. but right now, the market is hopeful that it gets at least what i would call a small bargain. i think that would be enough to satisfy financial types. let alone a very big picture budget questions that seemingly have been on and off the table variously for the past few weeks. host: "the wall street journal" in an editorial suggesting extending reality, which all tax cuts for the six months to give congress time to work out an agreement and to allow tempers to come down. guest: i do not know what president there is in recent washington history that six months of the same thing cools tempers. unless it is simply to get past things like a new congress coming in, the vote for speaker. it seems to me the lines in the sand are not encompassing a zero change extension of the tax code. i think it is much messier than that, let's say.
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while it might be a decent maneuver in terms of letting cooler heads prevail, i do not think that is what we want to see. i also do not think wall street wants to see the process dragged on more than it has to. host: put this in perspective because the dow one is down 1%. the nasdaq down 1.5%. how significant is that in terms of past slides in the market? guest: part of a significant at all. a drop like that could happen for no reason whatsoever. at these levels, the markets would be up for the week. overnight, there was a mini panic in the futures markets that showed it would be a bigger and more chaotic sale this morning, but that has not come to pass. right now, the markets is still drifting its way sideways, more hopeful that something happens, as opposed to panicking, that we
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will see the full effect of the fiscal drag. host: i know you will be watching the speaker's conference. our cameras and are inside of the capital visitor center. the speaker will be coming out momentarily with what we expect is a brief opening statement and then questions from reporters. what question would you have for the speaker of the house? guest: we need to ask what that represents his bottom line? host: i am going to stop you there. speaker is entering. >> the house did not take up the tax bill last night because we did not have the votes to pass. it is not the outcome that i wanted. was the will of the house. unless the president and congress take action, tax rates will go up on every american taxpayer and devastating defense cuts will go into effect in 10 days. the house has already passed bills addressing the fiscal
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cliff. we passed a bill replacing the president's sequestered with irresponsible spending cuts. we did that last may. we passed a bill to stop all the tax hikes on the american people scheduled to take effect january 1, and we did that august 1. and we proposed plans over and over again that democrats used to support but now will not. i do not want taxes to go up, republican do not want texas to go up. but we only when the house. democrats continued to run washington. what the president has proposed so far simply will not do anything to solve our spending problems. he wants more spending and more tax hikes that will hurt our economy. and he simply will not deal honestly with entitlement reform and the big issues facing our country. we need significant spending cuts and real tax reform to address our long-term debt
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problem and pave the way for long-term growth and real growth in jobs in our country. we will continue to work with colleagues in the house and senate on a plan that protect families and small businesses from the fiscal cliff. >> i think we saw last night yet again the next chapter in this saga of trying to resolve the situation of the fiscal cliff. it is clear that our conference has been consistent in its commitment to do something about the spending problem in washington and the mounting debt that has resulted. we stand ready to continue in dialog with this president to actually fix the problem. i hope that we see that our colleagues on the other side of likewise to can do get serious to address the real problem of spending so that we
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can get on about the business of growing economy and getting people back to work. >> a lot of the arguments that you made [inaudible] [inaudible] the president and i had a series of conversations. i told president these were my bottom lines. the president told me his numbers, $1.30 trillion in new revenues, $850 billion in spending cuts, was his bottom line. he could not go any further. so we see a situation where, because of the political divide in the country, because of the divide here in washington,
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trying to bridge the differences has been difficult. if it were easy, i guarantee this would have been done decades before, but we have to find a way to address this significant spending problem that we have come and we need to find a way through tax reform to begin to grow our economy in a way that will create more jobs for our country. >> what is the path forward? [inaudible] are you willing to put a vote on the floor [inaudible] >> there is no senate bill that has come to the house. as you know, the senate bill had a problem and continues to sit
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in the senate. we do not have a senate bill. we do have a house bill that sits in the senate at extended tax rates for all americans. >>we have been waiting since august for the senate to act. if the senate wants to act on that bill, we will certainly take a look at it. >> [inaudible] >> i am interested in solving the major problems that face our country. that means house leaders, senate leaders, and the president are going to continuewe have been we august for the senate to act. if the senate wants to act on that bill, we will certainly take a look at it. >> [inaudible] to have to work together to address those concerns. >> i have not given consideration to it. we have a spending problem. we have to address it. we are not going to address it by kicking the can down the road, which is what you are suggesting.
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>> [inaudible] are you quitting? >> absolutely not. i am proud of us. what mr. kantor outlined last night was that the house would come back, if needed. we are prepared to come back, if needed. >> mr. speaker, it sounds like you are walking away from the talks. >> i did not say that. nobody ought to read anything into this. we have differences, but the country has been expanding problems. we have to get serious about addressing them. >> [inaudible] >> listen, the president knows i have always been able to deliver on any promise i have made with him.
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the concern that i had was that time was running short. the idea that taxes would go up on every american taxpayer i thought was wrong. trying to address the tax issue, i thought, was important to do it now, so that we do not have taxes go up on every american and hurt our economy. >> [inaudible] >> listen, there was a perception created that that vote last night was going to increase taxes. i disagree with that characterization of the bill, but that impression was out there. we had a number of our members who just really did not want to be perceived as having raised taxes. that was the real issue. one of my colleagues the other night had an analogy of 100
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people drowning in a pool, and that he was a lifeguard. because he could not save any of them, does that mean that he should not have done anything? his point was, if i can go in there and save 99 people that are drowning, that is what i should do as a lifeguard. but the perception was out there and a lot of our members did not want to deal with it. >> [inaudible] are you willing to pass a bill [unintelligible] [inaudible] >> we have passed a bill and is sitting in the senate. we passed a bill to do with the sequestered. what we were trying to do this week was to basically jumpstart and try to kick into gear some action by the senate to pervert
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-- avert these tax increases go into effect january 1. >> with all due respect, what impact do you think pretty of the bipartisan grand bargain that you could check with president obama could have on [inaudible] >> at some point we have to address the spending problem we have, but we can now cut our way to prosperity. we need real economic growth. many believe on both sides of the aisle at the fundamental reform of our tax code will help get our economy moving faster and put more americans back to work. and more americans with tax credit. how we get there, i do not know. all i know that we are committed to working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, both sides of the capital and white house, to address this. >> last week, i ask you if you
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were concerned about losing the speakership. in light of what happened last night, if you're not concerned, should you be? >> no, i am not. you have all heard me say this. i have told my colleagues. if you do the right things every day for the right reasons, the right things will happen. while we have not been able to get the votes to avert 99.8% of the tax increases, i do not think -- they were not taking that out on me. they are dealing with a perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes. merry christmas, everyone. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> live from capitol, house speaker john boehner joined by eric cantor, offering the first leadership remarks today since last night's defeat in the house of the plan b tax proposal. speaker boehner brought the bill to the house last night when it appeared the votes were not there and he pulled it and said members home. the bill would have extended current tax rates on annual income up to $1 million but allowed rates to go up for taxpayers earning more. we have opened up our phone lines to get your take on what happened last night, but it could mean for the fiscal cliff tops and how what happened last night may affect the republican party. the numbers are on the screen. first caller is sandra from
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dalton, ill., on the democrat's line. caller: my question is, i want to know, does barack obama understand what is going on, what this man is trying to do? he does have a responsibility to the voters. right now, he is disappointing us because he is allowing the speaker to control the influence of the president. he really should just tell him what he thinks and let him know that he runs the country, not the speaker. >> next to keep in holiday, florida. republican line. caller: my problem is -- i am a
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republican. i do not understand why they could not at least go for the millionaire plan b period 95% of america will continue our tax breaks, but they decided, if you are making over $1 million, we cannot raise taxes on those people, which i do not like taxes at all, but the problem is, they are making all was miserable. i do not make a million dollars. they could at least let us keep our tax break, but now they have cut us out of that. they have taken 95% out of the equation. that really picked me off. i am really dissatisfied with the gop party right now. >> don in westport massachusetts -- westport, mass..
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independent caller. >> john. we have been watching all this go on. it is benghazi, the president tried to push these things through. i'm sorry. i was a democrat but i changed but i can no longer be a democrat because i cannot understand what they're trying to do. we have $16 trillion in deficits. we cannot fix anything and we are not going to do any spending cuts. so we are going to add more to the deficit but all you are going to do is tax millionaires. that is fine, but those are the people that create the jobs for the middle class. i depend on these people that have the money to pay me. >> what do you do for a living? caller: i am a construction worker. >> democrat caller from louisiana. nina. i just wanted to say, if
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you listen to the callers, of how disgusted we are with congress trying to control each other and not doing what they need to do for the country. the woman who said obama just needs to do it and get it over with, well, he cannot appear that is not our form of government. if we had a dictatorship, sometimes it would be easier, but it is not what we want. as far as benghazi, that has nothing to do with anything that we're doing right now. it needs to be studied for different reasons, but benghazi does not affect our fiscal cliff. i am just so disgusted with congress and with the republicans, in particular, because they just do not seem to care. >> thank you. a cloudy day in washington. as you can see, the flag at the capitol flying at half staff,
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representing the passing of the hawaii senator. a memorial service taking place at the washington national cathedral right now. live coverage of that on our companion network c-span2. it is underway right now. we are continuing to take your phone calls on the fiscal cliff negotiations. the numbers are on the screen. next call is from arlington, texas. independent line. caller: good morning. first, of a bite to express my disappointment with c-span for not having microphones during the speaker's address a few minutes ago. you cannot follow what he is talking about if you cannot hear the question being asked. having said that, i want to move to the point that we need to go over the cliff in order to get people to understand the problem
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is not taxes, it is spending. we have to quit spending. thank you. with that, i will hang up and continue watching. >> after the vote in the house last night, senate majority leader harry reid released this statement. he said it is now clear to protect the middle class from the fiscal cliff, speaker baena must allow a bill to pass with a combination of democratic and republican votes. speaker boehner's partisan approach with an entire weekend pushed middle-class families closer to the edge. the only way to avoid a cliff altogether is for speaker gingrich to return to negotiations, and work with president obama and the senate to forge a bipartisan deal. we continue with your phone calls. next, we go to a okeechobee, fla.. republican line. caller: good morning. i was listening to john boehner, ok, and no. 1, before i forget -- we have a president who is a bully.
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he is like a bully in a school yard that everyone runs from, collecting money from. the man really does not do anything. i do not know why people pay attention to him. he has not passed a budget in four years and nobody comments on that. he does not want to pass anything. he just wants to take his vacations. the problem with the republicans now, they do not have enough passion when they are speaking. the democrats and obama get out there, reid gets out there, and they are nasty people. the republicans' answer with this mundane, quiet speaking, try to make clear to everybody what it is all about when they need more passion in their voices, ok, and that is about all i have to say. i really enjoy your program a whole lot. thank you. >> trish is in verona, virginia. democrat line. before we take your call, nancy
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pelosi and democratic reporters -- and other democrats will be addressing reporters at 1:00 eastern. caller: hello, how are you? good morning. my only comment is that i think, based on the bush 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, we would have been dealing with these tax issues the matter was -- no matter what. that is really all i wanted to say. in some ways, i wish parties on both sides of the aisle would -- any text raising that we do, a lot of it will make up the
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difference between those 2000 bush tax cuts. they were unsustainable to begin with. anyways, that is my comment. merry christmas. >> tom is in lancaster, california. independent line. caller: hello. this issue affects every american citizen, the job at for criminals do an executive order which is not worth the paper is printed on. it affects every american citizen because we have to pay higher taxes on everything. our schools, hospitals, and social security, because they are stealing from it to pay for the legal actions from this president. he cannot do this. it was not talked about during the elections because it was covered up through benghazi. thank you for your time. free america.
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>> thank you for your call, tom. "the hilt" gave a sense of the atmosphere among house republicans last night as they held a boat. one republican at the conference meeting speak on the condition of anonymity said after been addressed the conference, freshman congressman mike kelly took the microphone and a motion relating to his colleagues, what are you guys doing? how the hell can you do this to the speaker? shouting ensued among members and then later returned to the microphone to calm lawmakers down telling them that there were good people on both sides of the issue. next, cindy, from britain, florida. republican line. caller: good morning. i just want to reiterate to that woman from georgia, obama is not the king, we have three equal branches of government. if the uninformed voters would check on what they really vote for, they would be voting
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republican. we have taxes and regulations going out the kazoo january 1. do i think we need to go over the cliff? yes, i do. it is obama. he has nobody to blame but himself. it is my way or the highway. that is the way he does business. i think he is a lousy president, and i hate to say it, romney was white-- right. you are not going to get the votes of the people that take away your benefits. that is all i have to say. i wish people would read the news, get off msnbc, and stop following the liberal press. >> that you is in indiana, democrat line. caller: i was listening to it last night and one of the things they screamed about last night -- republicans -- was food stamps to increase 270%. wages -- the median wage has
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stayed stagnant since the 1980's. i am retired today. i retired around $60,000 a year. a college graduate getting $25,000 a year job but they cannot get jobs that pay better. these are the jobs that 20 years ago would have been paying $50,000 a year. wages are going down. costs are going up. taxes are going down because you cannot pay as much taxes when you are making less money. they do not pay as much in taxes because they do not make as much in common. that is about 6% of our
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problems, too. thank you. >> will in columbia, tennessee. independent line. caller: good morning, c-span. merry christmas and happy new year, if we can get through it. america is going through some of the worst times in our lives. if it comes down to me, speaking from a christian standpoint, we are living under complete hypocrisy of lies, double billings, secret meetings. the sad thing about it is the american people are like sheep, patiently waiting for the
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shepherd to take control. president obama is trying to take control of the situation but unfortunately there are some other leaders that are going around setting up false pretenses that they are looking out for the middle class, small businessmen, and all along, they are looking out for the multi millionaires. it is a puppet on the string. they get pulled one way or another and a jump. the sad thing about the situation is, the american people are fed up with this. speaker dinner could have come in this morning and said, i'm going to give american middle- class people a merry christmas sendoff by saying, we are going to agree. we are going to tax everyone but we are 0 to make sure that have
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the most and are able to give the most will be able to provide the most. but we do not have that. we are still in the dark ages. the sad thing about it is, america is going to end up falling to the enemy. the enemy is waiting for us. with the low morality we have in our nation and all the problems confronting us internally now -- not out there in the foreign field, but right here in america. we are having more problems because there is no true leadership and there is no one in leadership willing to cooperate with one another. >> thank you for your call. we are going to go back about 25 minutes ago to hear the press briefing with speaker john boehner and majority leader eric cantor after last night's had fiscal cliff issues. >> good morning, everyone.
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as you know, the house did not take up the tax bill last night because we did not have the votes to passit. it is not the outcome but i wanted. it was the will of the house. so unless the president and congress take action, tax rates will go up on every american taxpayer and devastating defense cuts will go into effect in 10 days. the house has already passed bills addressing the fiscal cliff. we passed a bill replacing the president's sequester with responsible spending cuts. we did it last may. we passed a bill to stop all the tax hikes on the american people scheduled to take effect january 1, and we did that on august 1. and we proposed plans over and over again that democrats that used to support now will not. i do not want taxes to go up. republicans do not want taxes to
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go up. but we only run the house. democrats continue to run washington. what the president has proposed so far simply will not do anything to solve our spending problem. he wants more spending and more tax hikes that will hurt our economy and he simply will not deal honestly with entitlement reform and the big issues facing our country. we need significant spending cuts and real tax reform to address our long-term debt problem and pave the way for long-term growth and real growth and jobs in our country. we will continue to work with our colleagues in the house and senate on a plan that attacks families and small businesses from the fiscal cliff. >> i think we saw last night yet the next chapter in this saga of trying to resolve the situation of the fiscal cliff. it is clear that our conference
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has been consistent in its commitment to doing something about the spending problem in washington and the mounting debt that has resulted. we stand ready to continue in dialog with this president to actually fix the problem. i hope that we see that our colleagues on the other side of the capital can do likewise, can get serious, to try to address the real problem of spending so we can get on about the business of growing this economy and getting people back to work. >> mr. speaker, a lot of the arguments [inaudible] multi trillion dollar tax cut rescue all but a fraction of taxpayers from the increase. are you willing to [inaudible] >> the president and i had a
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series of conversations. i told president on monday, these were my bottom lines. the president told me that his numbers -- $1.30 trillion in new revenues, $850 billion in spending cuts -- was hit bottom line. that he could not go any further. so we see a situation where, because of the political divide in the country, because of the divide here in washington, trying to bridge the differences has been difficult. if it were easy, i guarantee you, this would have been done decades before. we have to wait to address these issues and begin to grow our economy in a way that will create more jobs. >> [inaudible]
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are you ruling out putting a bill on the floor that includes taxes? >> there is no senate bill does come to the house. the senate bill had a blue slip problem and continues to sit in the senate. we don't have a senate bill. we have a congress bill that extends tax breaks for all americans and would have been waiting since august 1 for the senate to act. but the senate wants to act on that bill, we will certainly take a look at it. >> [inaudible] >> i am interested in solving the major problems that face our country. that means house leaders, senate leaders, and the president will continue to have to work together to address those concerns. >> [inaudible]
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>> i am not giving consideration to it. we have a spending problem. we have to address it. we are not going to address it by kicking the can down the road which is what you are suggesting. >> speaker banner -- [inaudible] -- speaker boehner >> i'm proud of our members. they do a great job on behalf of their constituents and frankly a great job on behalf of our country but what mr. kantor outlined last night is that the house would come back as needed. we are prepared to come back if needed. >> it sounds like you are
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walking away from talks with the president -- >> i did not say that. you should not read anything into this. we have differences but the country has been expanding problems and we've got to get serious about addressing them. >> [inaudible] >> the president knows i have always been able to deliver on any promise i have made with him. the concern that i had is that the time is running short. the idea of taxes going up on every american taxpayer i thought was wrong. trying to address the tax issue, i thought, was important to do it now so that we don't have taxes going up on every american and hurting our economy . >> [inaudible] >> sure did.
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[laughter] there was a perception created that the vote last night would increase taxes. i disagree with that characterization but that impression was out there. we had a number of our members who did not really want to be perceived as having raised taxes. that was the real issue. one of my colleagues the other night at an analogy of 100 people drowning in pool that he was the lifeguard. if the country could not save any of them, could he have not save any of them. he said he could save 99 people, that's what i should do as a lifeguard. the perception was out there and many of our members did not want to have to deal with it. >> are you willing to pass a
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bill with democratic supporters? >> the house has passed a bill to extend all of the current tax breaks. we did it on august 1 and it has been sitting in the senate. this was to replace the sequestered. the united states senate has to do something at some point. what we were trying to do this week is basically jon stewart and try to kick into gear some action by the senate to avert these tax increase is going into effect january 1. >> with all due respect, what effect would a grand bargain have with president obama? >> at some point, we will have to address the spending problem we have. we cannot cut our way to prosperity. we've made real economic growth. many of us believe on both sides
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of the aisle that fundamental reform of our tax code will help us get our economy moving faster and put more americans back to work. and more americans on the tax rolls. how we get there, god only knows, but i am saying that eric and i are committed to working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the capitol and the white house to address this. >> [inaudible] last week s to if you were concerned about losing -- [inaudible] in light of last night, are you still concerned? >> i am not. you have heard me say this and i have told my colleagues that we do the right things every day for the right reasons and the right things will happen. while we may not have been able to get the votes last night to avert 99.8% of the tax
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increases, i don't think -- they were not taking it out on me. they were dealing with the perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes. merry christmas, everyone. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> house speaker john bender from about half an hour ago. for all things related to the fiscal cliff, go to our special page on our website. there is video of related events and the resource area with documents and links and that is at cliff. coming up live at 11:00 eastern , we will be here at the willard hotel in washington, d.c. where the national rifle association is scheduled to hold a briefing responding to the shootings in newtown, conn.. ceo and executive vice president and the ceo -- the president will speak to reporters.
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this is billed as a major announcement will. live coverage is coming up at the top of the hour on c-span. a senior administration official is reporting that president obama today will nominate senator john kerry as his next secretary of state. if confirmed, he will take the, the state department of outgoing secretary hillary clinton. is expected to be easily approved by his longtime capitol colleagues. that announcement be made today, we will have live coverage here on the cspan accords. while we wait for the nra to get under way, we spoke earlier with a republican member of congress to get his thoughts on last night's action and the house on fiscal cliff legislation. >
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>> what happened inside the caucus last night at 7:30. >> it was about the short as one i have ever seen. john boehner said he did not have the vote and we passed the bill, two bills that harry reid has been sitting on and the senate. he said he is available to negotiate. mr. kantor said we would be called back within 48 hours notice and see you after christmas. that's all it was. host: are they negotiate from a position of strength? guest: the speaker has been negotiating as much as he can -- i think the president has not been dealing in good and faith and not negotiating at all. he gave us a plan that was his
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budget that was voted on in the senate, 99-0 against his budget and in the house, he gets zero votes for it also. that is what the president put on the table. i don't think he has been negotiating in good faith. we need to find solutions to the fiscal problems that america faces and spending. it is not taxes, spending. republicans across the board and not raising taxes on anyone. a year or so ago, the president said in a bad economy we should not raise taxes on anyone. that is exactly what i believe and that is what the republican party believes. we should not raise taxes on family businesses that are creating jobs. i've got a small business in my district. even if we raise taxes on those
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so-called millionaire's and he is not a millionaire, he is a family business, he files his income taxes on his personal 1040 forms and is trying to put money away to expand his business -- he will not do because of these tax increases. he would hire over 100 new people. many of those jobs would pay $100,000 per year but he cannot do it because of obama care taxes as well as these taxes that are being proposed. a another businessman has five employees and because of the tax increases, he told me he will have to shut down altogether. we should not raise taxes on anyone. we need to stop spending because spending is the problem. it is not that we are being taxed too little. it is that the federal government spends too much. we have to have some real spending cuts. as the only thing that will get this economy back on the right
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track to create jobs and go on a positive direction. host: if the plan b is pushing came to the floor last night, would you support it? >> no, that will not solve the problem. i don't want to raise taxes on anyone. host: what kind of pressure were you getting from the speaker? guest: none. mr. boehner came to talk to three of us from georgia. the night before last. he laid out his thoughts about plan b but that is not his plan. it was essentially nancy pelosi's plan and speaker boehner brought to the floor hoping that since nancy pelosi proposed raising taxes on the so-called millionaire's that we could get enough votes from the
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democrats and republicans to pass it. that was his hope but the thing is, that will not solve the problem. host: if you look at where we have gone with the debt and deficit, it has increased $4 trillion under this president. it also increased under george w. bush and republican control of congress because medicare part d was not paid for, wars were not paid for it is in a both parties fault? shouldn't they say we need to come together and cut spending and raise taxes in some areas because we have not done it for 12 years? guest: it is both parties fall and i have said that publicly. in the last six years, since nancy pelosi became speaker of the house in january, 2007, we nearly doubled the federal debt. as you said, present obama has increased its over $4 trillion.
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that is the problem is spending. it is not that we are taxing too low, it is that we're spending too much so we have to cut the spending host: doesn't the root of the problem go back to the temporary tax cuts that went into effect by president bush that had been extended to? the deficit has been increased and as president, but under george w. bush and republican "-- control of congress, guest: i agree. the problem is -- i am a medical doctor. let's compare this to a disease. if i have a strep throat or you have a strep throat, you come to me and you feel bad and i look at you and i diagnose you as having strep throat. i say go home and take some tylenol to bring your fever down and you will feel better. that will not sure you're strep
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throat. the problem with the federal government's financial problems today is not that we are taxing too little but we are spending too much. we've got to cut the spending that both parties have put forward. i agree with that. we have increased spending with george w. bush and i was critical of that. we have really increased spending during this administration. got to reduce spending. we are heading down the same path. the democrats are talking about raising taxes on the top 2%. if we don't stop the spending, we will be right back here again maybe one year from now. we might say we might need to raise taxes on the top 25% and so on. then everybody will be taxed and we will run out of money. what will happen is the federal
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government will not be able to take care of its obligations. it will not be able to have the safety net. social security and medicare are going broke. we've got to fix those so that those who are dependent on those systems, those programs, can get them. continuing to spend money like both parties have been doing is going to lead us to being just like greece. we will not be able to take care of the poor and needy or senior citizens. we've got to stop spending. host: this is from the congressional budget office -- social security, medicare, and medicaid are 41% of the federal budget. defense spending is 20% area do you cut? >> we have to cut across the whole circle.
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it is not the so-called congress' spending. it is everything in that pie plate. need to fix social security and medicare because they are going broke. democratic colleagues are totally in denial. they think they have a policy regarding social security and medicare. they say denied it is a problem and they deny -- and a delay fixing it and third, they will destroy the programs because they are denying and delighting and they are demonizing those of us who want to try to fix it. we need to fix it so that social security and medicare are available for those people needed. we've got to put in place policies that will do so. the democrats have been totally against are doing so. host: are you worried that the
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republicans are just trying to protect the rich? that is part of the reality. guest: that's what the president has been setting and i don't want taxes going up on anybody. inght now, we're just talk about taxing millionaires and billionaires. the top 2% of wage earners in this country are those people making above $250,000 per year. if we tax everybody making above $250,000 per year at 1 under%, -- at one other%, we will only fund the government for 91 days. that is because we are spending way too much. we've got to cut spending. what will happen as ever but it will be taxed. 2%re talking about the top now, that will be the top 50%
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and the top 75% and and one of the sense of workers in this country are going to be taxed. it is just like prime minister margaret thatcher who said the bad thing about socialism is that the government is eventually run out of money of those producing. that is where we are headed in this country. we are headed to a situation in this country just like greece if we don't stop the spending. host: isest: that's what the fed doing today. they are just printing more money. that makes everybody's dollar in their pocket or less and eventually, our dollar will be worthless. we've got to stop spending the
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federal government money because we are headed to the same situation with riots in the street like a grease as today. we will not be able to pay our public workers or take care of the port and the elderly. as where we are going. it is not about taxing the rich. it will be taxing everybody in this country. that is what the republican party stands for is fiscal responsibility. that is what i am fighting for in washington. host: louise is on a fallen on our democrat line, good morning. caller: thank you very much for answering my call. you've got a million folks calling you. guest: where are you in oregon? caller: out in the woods and the country, between the coast and
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the ocean. guest: i medical doctor and i did might in turn ship at good samaritan hospital in portland. i love oregon. where you live is absolutely -- caller: we go without electricity a lot. yesterday we had no electricity. thank you very much. i just wanted to say that president obama, unfortunately -- i am a democrat and a hard in true believer in caring and loving and living the words that were spoken by jesus and every other holy man about love each other. he has given in tons more than most of us wanted him to give in to go along with the republican party that has said absolutely no to everything they say they will not cooperate at all.
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i saw the statistics of how much extra money the wealthy would have to pay because their taxes would be raised. we're talking one or two%. it is a miniscule amounts of money they are complaining about it is the age-old problem called greedy. lots and lots of the wealthy americans are denouncing their american citizenship so they don't have to pay any taxes in america. as far as these kids in sandy hook, my oldest daughter told me we will see more of these things unless kids are given a better future to vote for rather than being some rich person slate. host: thanks for the call. guest: you are right, the rich, no matter what the tax level will be, have a way of getting around taxes. working people have a harder time doing that.
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it is not about what level of rate we put taxes on individuals. it is about spending. we've got to reduce spending. she said obama has given to republicans but i'm not sure what he has given in on. in this negotiation on the fiscal cliff, he has not been at the table. he has been traveling all or the country to propose raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires and then doing their fair share. the reality is, is spending that is causing this problem. spending levels of the government and of this debt has created the poor economy. the poor recovery we have seen is the failed obama policies that has created a false economy and we have to start dealing with the spending, not taxes, but spending is the problem. we've got to treat the problem
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and that is the outrageous spending. we have increased the federal debt by almost double in the last six years. both parties are guilty. i have been very critical of my own party, the republican party, for spending money they don't have. it is time to really focus upon the true solution and that is starting to reduce the size and scope of government and deal with the spending problem. let me give you a couple of figures -- when the recession started, in all the u.s. department of transportation, there was one federal bureaucrat that made about $170,000 per year. 18 months later under this administration, in the department of transportation, there is 1690 federal bureaucrats making about
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$170,000 per year. that is not sustainable. in the u.s. to part of education today, the average salary and across the board in the federal department of education is $102,000 per year. an average teacher's salary is $44,000 per year that is less than half. the federal bureaucrats, most of them have never taught a child to read. we need to leave those dollars in the hands of the states and the people, let the teachers be able to teach. i have been critical of president bush in those areas with no child left behind. i hear teachers all over the country, whether it is
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administrative or teachers, they agree that you need to get rid of no child left behind, get rid of crct and leave those dollars thate hands of the states is an area of spending where we can do so. the students would be in a whole lot better situation. our educational level is dropping because we are paying an average bureaucrat in the department of education $102,000 per year. we need to pay the teachers more, not paid bureaucrats more. we need to leave the dollars in the states so that we can pay the teachers and educate our students. that is an example of how we can cut spending. host: if you're just tuning in, our guest is congressman paul broun. after speaker john boehner's plan b in the house last night,
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that's all we are talking about. republican line, is next, good morning. caller: let it go over the cliff. let these democrats who want all these programs like school lunch, breakfast for their kids in the morning -- let them learn what taxes are and start paying for this stuff. punish them. make them pay. what the programs, make them pay. i don't care a bit about gridlock. all you do is take our rights away. right away, obama can't keep his face of television and then he talks about gun-control not the fact that the left the school unprotected. go offi don't want us to the fiscal cliff because what will happen will hurt everybody in this country. it is going to hurt the poor
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people and seniors on fixed income more than anybody else. the policies of this administration are hurting those poor people, those senior citizens. our president and his administration said they want gas prices and energy prices to go up. the president said his policies would necessarily skyrocket. the prices of energy. if prices go to $10 per gallon, the secretary said he would like to see that, poor people get hurt the most and senior citizens on limited incomes. we need to come together. last night there were six or eight democrats and two republicans and we had dinner together and talked about how we can solve the problem. that is what i am trying to do.
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the real problem we have here is both parties have spent too much and we've got to start focusing on the real solution and that is to make major spending cuts. we have to do today. i have called the plans i have seen from my democratic colleagues as well as the president's the wimpy solution. both parties are guilty of this. they say give us more money today so we can spend more money today and we will pay you tomorrow. the cuts never come and ronald reagan and tip o'neill is a good example of that. you are in the reagan administration and ronald reagan agrees to $1 of increase in taxes and he was supposed to get $3 of spending cuts he got
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$3 of increased spending with $1 of spending cuts. it was exactly the opposite. if we have had $1 increase of taxes on anybody, congress has spent $2. the president has proposed increasing and he cannot continue. we've got to focus on spending or we will be just like greece. from thiss is morning's "washington post" - with regard to gun control, do you support and new laws with
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regard to these high-powered rifles? guest: it is too soon to be looking at those types of issues. the sensitivity of america is extremely raw. what happened in connecticut is outrageous and horrible. all of us are just very saddened. >> see the rest of this sequence -- segment at >> io am davejkeane president of the national rifle association and i would like to welcome you to begin our discussion of the topic that has been on the minds of american parents across this country. that is -- what do we do about the tragedy of the sort that struck in newtown, conn. to avoid such events in the future? like most americans, we were
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shocked by what happened. like all americans, we have been discussing all of the various options that are available to protect our children and, at this point, we would like to share our thinking with few. that purpose, i like to introduce wayne lapierre our executive vice president. at the end of this conference, we will not be taking questions that next week, we will be available to any of you who are interested in talking about these or other issues of interest. contact us, please, at that point, thank you very much. wayne? >> good morning. the national rifle association,
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4 million others -- mothers, fathers, sons and daughters joined the nation in hard work, outrage, grief, and ernest prayer for the families of newtown, conn.. who have suffered such an incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime. out of respect for the families and until the facts are known, the nra has refrained from comment. while some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectably silence. now, we must speak. for the safety of our nation's children.
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for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one, nobody, has addressed the most important precedent and the immediate question we face -- how do we protect our children right now? starting today? in a way that we know works? the only way to answer that question is to face the truth. politicians have laws for gun- free school zones. they issues press releases bragging about them. the post signs advertising them. in doing so, they tell every insane killer in america that
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schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk. aaron -- how have our nation's poor is gone so far out of order? think about it -- we care about our money so we protect our banks with armed guards. american airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses, even sports stadiums are all protected by armed security. we care about our president so we protect him with arms secret service agents. members of congress work in offices surrounded by capitol police officers.
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yet, when it comes to our most beloved, in a sense her, and vulnerable members of the american family, our children, we, as a society, leave the unheroic have every day utterly defenseless. and the monsters have and the creditors schaerbeek of the world know it and exploit it. that must change now. the truth is, >> stop killing our children.
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we've got to end the violence. we have to stop the killing. the nra is killing our children. they are the perpetrators of crimes. >> the truth is, that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters, people that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can ever possibly comprehend them. they walk among us every single day.
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does anybody really believe that the next adam lanza not planning an attack on a school that he has already identified at this very moment? how many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame? from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to- wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave while provoking others to try to make their mark. a dozen more killers, 100? more? how can we possibly even guess how many? given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill. the fact is this -- that would not begin to address
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the much larger more lethal criminal class, killers, robbers, rapists, gang members who have spread like cancer in every community across our nation. meanwhile, while that happens, federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40% to the lowest levels in a decade. so now, do to a decline and willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years. ed another hurricane, attack or some other natural or man-made disaster, and you've got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization.
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here is another dirty little truth that t media, try their best to conceal. there exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stokes violence against its own people. through vicious violent video games with names like bullet "storm," "and it theft auto,"" mortal kombat," and "splatter house." here is one -- that is called kindergarten killers. it has been online for 10 years. how come my research staff can't find it and all of yours could not or didn't want anyone to
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know you had found it? add another hurricane, add another natural disaster -- we have flood -soaked sites out there. these are aired like propaganda loops every single day. 1000 music videos, and you all know this, portray life as a joke and they play murder -- portray murder as a way of life. then they all have the mayor of to call it entertainment. is that what it really is? isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography? in a race to the bottom, media
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conglomerate compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society. by bringing an even more toxic max of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes every minute, every day, every hour, of every single year. a child growing up in america today witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ribald age of 18. throughout it all, to many in the national media, their corporate owners, and their stockholders, act as silent enablers if not complice it co- conspirators. rather than face their own moral
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failings, the media demonize to gun owners. >> reckless behavior becoming from the nra. the nra has blood on its ads. the nra has blood on its hands. shame on the nra ban assault weapons now. ban on assault weapons now. stop killing our children. stop the reckless behavior of the nra. we need gun control now. >> rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonizes the gun owners, amplifies their cries for more laws, and fills the national media with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only
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delay meaningful action in all that guarantees the next atrocity is only a news cycle away. the media calls semi automatic firearms machine guns. they claims the civilian automatic firearms are used by the military. they tell us that the 223 round is one of the most popular calibers when all of these claims are factually untrue. they don't know what they are talking about. worse, they perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban or one more law imposed on peaceful lawful people will protect us where 20,000 other laws have failed. as brave and heroic and as self- sacrificing as those teachers were in those classrooms and as
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prompt and professional and well trained as those police were when they responded, they were unable, through no fault of their own, and able to stop it. as parents, we do everything we can to keep their children safe. is now time for us to assume responsibility for our schools. the only way, the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. would you rather have your 911 call briong good guy with a gun from a mile away or from one
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minute away? i can imagine the headlines, the shocking headline, they will print tomorrow. more guns, you will climb, is the nra answer to everything. your implication will be that guns are evil and have no place in society, much less in our .chools pahoeho since when did the gun automatically become a bad word? a gun in the hands of the sixth service agent protecting our president is not a bad word. a gun in the hands of the soldier protecting the united states of america is not a bad word. when you hear your glass breaking at 3:00 a.m. and you call 911, he will not be able to
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pray hard enough for a gun in that hands of a good guy to get there fast enough to protect you. so, why is the idea of a gun could win it is used to protect the president of our country or our police, but bad when it is used to protect our children in our schools? there are kids, they are our responsibility, and it is not just our duty to protect them, it is our right to protect them. you know, five years ago, after the virginia tech tragedy, when i said we should put armed security in every school, the media call me crazy.
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but what if, what if, when adam lanza star shooting his way into sandy hook elementary school last friday he had been confronted by qualified armed security? will you at least admit it is possible that 26 of little kids -- 26 innocent lives might have been scared that day? is it so abhorrent that you would rather continue to rest the alternative? is the press and the political talk in washington, d.c. so consumed by fear and hatred of the nra and american gun owners that you are willing to accept a
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world where real resistance to evil monsters is alone, unarmed, school principal left to surrender her life, her life to shield those children in her care? no one, no one, regardless of personal political prejudice has the right to impose that sacrifice. ladies and gentlemen, there is no national one-size-fits-all solution to protect our children. do know that this president zeroed out school planning grants in the last budget and scrapped secure our schools policing and grant in next year's budget. with all the foreign aid the united states does, with all the
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money in the federal budget, can't we afford to put a police officer in every single school? even if they did that, politicians have no business and no authority denying us the right, the ability, and the moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm. the national rifle association knows there are millions of qualified, active and retired police, active reserves, retired military, security professionals, certified firefighters, security professionals, rescue personnel, and -- an extraordinary core of patriotic, trained and qualified citizens to join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every
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single school. we could deploy them to protect our kids now. we can immediately make america's schools safer, relying on the brave men and women in america's police forces. you all know this, everyone the country knows this -- the budgets of our local police departments are strained and the resources are severely limited. their dedication and courage is second to none and they can be deployed right now. i call on congress today to act immediately to appropriate what ever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation and to do it now. to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in january.
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before congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation, or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in america immediately deployed a production program proven to work and by that i mean armed security. right now today, every school in the united states should planned meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers, local authorities and draw upon every resource out there that is available, to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now. every school will have a different solution based on its own unique situation. every school in america needs to immediately identified, dedicate, and deploy the resources necessary to put these
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security forces in place right now. at the national rifle association, as america's preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years, we have 11,000 police training instructors in the nra ready, willing, and uniquely qualified to help. our training programs are the most advanced in the world. that expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and their children now. we did it for our nation's defense industry at military installations during world war two. we did it for very young kids with air safety program that is throughout the country in schools right now. we will do it again today. the nra will bring all its knowledge, all its dedication,
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and all its resources to develop a model national school shield emergency response program. for every single school in america that wants it. from armed security to building design and access control, the information technology, student and teacher training, this multifaceted program will be developed by the very best experts in the field. former congressman asa hutchinson will lead the effort as national director of the national model school shield program with a budget provided by the nra of what ever scope the task requires. his experience as a united states attorney, director of the drug enforcement agency, and undersecretary of the department of homeland security will given the knowledge and expertise to hire the most knowledgeable and
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credentialed experts available in the united states of america. to get this program up and running from the first day forward. if we truly cherish our kids more than our money, more than our celebrities, more than our sports stadiums, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and that security is only available with properly trained armed good guys. under asa's leadership our experts were make this program available to the world to protect their children at school and will make that program available to every single school in america free of charge. that is a plan of action that can and will make a real positive indisputable difference
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in the safety of our children and it will start right now. there will be a lot of time to talk and debate later. this is a time, this is a day for decisive action. we cannot wait for the next unspeakable crime to happen before we act. we cannot lose precious time debating legislation that will not work. we must not allow politics or personal prejudice to divide us. we must act now. for the sake of every child in america. i call on every parent, i call on every teacher, i call on every school administrator, every law enforcement officer in this country to join with us and help create a national school shield safety program to protect
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our children with the only positive line of defense that is tested and proven to work. now, tell you more about the program, i would like to introduce the head of the effort, former u.s. congressman, former u.s. attorney before the western district of arkansas and former ad minister of the u.s. drug enforcement agency, the honorable congressman, asa hutchinson. >> one of the first responsibility is a learned of homeland security was the importance of protecting our nation's critical infrastructure. there is nothing more critical
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to our nation's well-being that our children safety. futuree this country's and our most precious resource. all understand that our children should be safe at school but it is also essential that the parents understand and have confidence in that safety. as a result of the tragedy in newtown, conn., this -- that conflicts across this nation has been shattered. assurance of school safety must be restored with a sense of urgency. that is why i am grateful that the national rifle association has asked me to lead a team of security experts to assist our schools, parents, and their communities. i took this assignment on one condition -- that my team of experts will be independent, and will be guided solely by what are the best security solutions for the safety of our children
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while at school. even though we are just starting this process, i envision this initiative will have two key elements -- first of all, it would be based on a model security plan, a comprehensive strategy for school security based upon the latest, most up- to-date, technical information from the foremost experts in their fields. this model security plan will serve as a template, a set of best practices, principals, and guidelines that every school in america can tweak as needed and tailor it to their own set of circumstances. every school and community is different. this model plan will allow every school to choose among its various components to develop a school safety strategy that fits their own unique circumstance whether it is a large urban school or ace moral -- or a small rural schools such as we have an arkansas or anything we
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have in between. armed and qualified school security personnel will be one element of that plan but by no means the only element. it is cooled the sites for whatever reason that it does not need armed security personnel, that is the decision to be made by the local school board at the local level. the second point i want to make is this will be a program that does not depend on massive funding from local authorities or the federal government. instead, it will make use of local volunteers serving in their own communities. my son was a volunteer with a local group called "watchdog dads" patrolled playgrounds and provided a measure of added security. president clinton initiated a program called "cops in school"
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but the federal response is not sufficient for today's path. whether they're retired police, retired military or rescue personnel, i think there are people in every community in this country it would be happy to serve if only someone ask them and gave them the training and certification is to do so. the national rifle association is the natural obvious choice to sponsor this program. their guns safety, hunter education programs have set the standard for well over a century. over the past 25 years, the eddie eagle and state program has taught over 26 million children that real guns are not toys. today child gun accidents are at the lowest levels ever recorded. school safety is a complex issue with those simple, single solution. but i believe trained, qualified armed security is one key component among many that
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can provide the first line of difference, as well as the last line of defense. again, i welcome the opportunity to serve as vital, potentially lifesaving effort. the jury much. -- thank you very much. >> thank you. as i indicated at the outset, this is the beginning of a serious conversation. we will not be taking questions today, but our public affairs officer is here. we will be willing to talk to anyone beginning on monday. a text of the speech are available at i want to thank all of you for being with us and look forward to talking with you in answering any of your questions next week. thank you very much.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> national rifle see -- as physicians ceo david cain and the drug enforcement administration director and the congressman offering the nra reaction to the shootings at newtown, conn.. the remarks interrupted several times by protesters carrying banners. leaders not taking questions but giving reporters an opportunity to pose questions later next week. we would like to hear your thoughts now. numbers for republican callers
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to 02-585. -- 2020-585-3787. >> good morning. my problem is if they take away the assault-style semiautomatic weapons at a higher capacity it will not make anyone safer. the black market will sell those weapons and accessories by the billions of dollars around america. secondly, american still to this day disagree with one hand over over the real meaning of the second amendment. something similar to the peace
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officer standard and training should be started in this country, and new, more robust program. something like this edition standard and training -- citizens standard in training with gun ownership. i have had the benefit of outstanding firearms training and the marine corps and civilian police officer. one thing i conclude is too many people out there are not trained well enough with fire arms. i also believe that the death penalty should be or life without parole, only those punishments should be the punishment for anyone committing murder with a firearm. host: what does the second amendment mean to you? caller: basically, the way i learned in school, what it means
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to be basically is that it some day our united states of america is never invaded, that in addition to our government armed forces, that ours did sri is well armed with the right to bear arms will be able to mount a defense and get stuck -- against the invaders. host: calller on the independent line. caller: basically the thing is that basically in this country of ours people need to stop acting irrationally. my opinion is everyone is talking about gun control laws. we need to have smarter solutions. after the connecticut shootings, i actually read the
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law in connecticut, because i always study law as an armed security person who knows how to learn and deal with firearms. a lot of people talking about gun control laws lower crime. they actually up with them. i will give you three examples. nza route 3 loss. one, a person must be 21 years old to hold a fire arm. he was 20. he broke the law. no. 2, he walked into a school that was not supposed to have a person with any fire arm anywhere. he broke that law. no. 3, he is supposed to have a permit of carrying a weapon of any sort. he broke -- he stole those guns and shot the adults and
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children. my thing is that the person who did the shooting, he is the one that pulled the trigger. he is the one that came into the school and shot those adults and children. host: we will leave it there. on to brenda and arkansas. calling on the republican line. caller: hello. i am not used to doing this, so i do not really know how. i believe the nra has a good idea with calling in the nra as a minuteman force. i think that would be really good. i have a teacher in my family, and we have young ones in school. i really feel this is a situation where we do not need
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to run in and do something radical. i think what we need to do is make the schools safe for the children and make them where the children want to go there because we are having troubles with kids not wanting to go. i believe that can be done with volunteer help and retired individuals. what we need to do is get this under control before a terrorist decides to attack us while our country is in turmoil. >> looking at pictures of the vice president of the nra from earlier today. some of the points he made during the remarks. he blames the media for allowing violent culture to coming to children's home. he said another connecticut- point shooting is waiting in the wings. also calling for a national
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database of the mentally ill and armed police officer in every school. we're taking your phone calls on what you've just heard, the nra and connecticut shootings. the democrat line from colorado. and caller: i was offended by the pony show of resistance. people going through and grabbing the signs. i think that was planned. they looked like it was good. but it was a purely funny thing. my opinion is we should have background checks and registrations of guns. -- purely phoney thing. i believe hunting rifles and other hunting guns are certainly necessary.
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those things that fire several rapid rounds are not necessary. that of all. host: thank you. on the screen you see your flags marking the half staff marking the passing away of the hawaiian senator that passed away monday. a memorial service is held today at the national memorial cathedral. president obama and vice president joe biden are there. you can see live coverage of the companion network. back to your phone calls to dorothy and allentown, mich. calling on the republican line. caller: hello. i am 93 years old. i am an ex-teacher, ex-social worker for the state of michigan, and i can tell you you are going to have a problem with
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mainstreaming mental patients. they should be institutionalized instead of prescribing medications for them to normalize them, at 10 them up until such time as they will take those medications as normal as eating or breathing or brushing their teeth. then they can go out into the mainstream. take our resources from the foreign aid. give us -- give it to the school system. let the teachers make an earnest wage. respect them. after all, they did go to college. they did graduate and get their degree here yet they are not recognized. and i think if we are going to have a good america, we have to
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teach these children today and let them have the best teachers they can have and institutionalize the mental patients. i think your gun control is a good idea, but that is not the only part. there is part two, that is too institutionalized mental patients until such time therapy makes them normal as much as possible. host: thank you. on your screen you saw at least one of the protesters who interrupted the press conference. but your phone calls. it is ethan, new york city. caller: hello? i do not normally call in ever, but this guy, i did not even know what to say about this
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dude. they tell me how the republicans and the nra people always talking about giving more people guns and the statistics always talk about more guns for safe for people. tell that to every parent who has lost a child through gang violence, police just walking down the streets here yet these people are cowards. they do not want to come to the ghettos of the united states. they wait until the tragedy happens, then they come back to say give more people guns. how about you hold an nra meeting in harlem some time? hold it in harlem to see what their reaction will be. these gang members are getting their guns illegally through different means. if they have a record, they will find someone who do not have a record and get their guns.
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what they need to do is in my opinion they need to get guns out of every single student hands. this country has a real bad gun problem and because the people like the nra. host: thanks. appreciate your call. this morning, bills ring out in the connecticut town to commemorate the moment a week ago when a gunman began shooting rampage at an elementary school that chill -- killed 20 children and six adults. officials led a moment of silence after the ringing of the bills. the bells rang 26 times in memory of each of life lost. the gunmen also killed his mother before the massacre. he killed himself afterwards. no formal remarks were planned this morning. other places around the country were planning similar
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observances. back to your phone calls this morning. the next is kathy in wyoming. she is calling on the democrat line. caller: there is some much to say about this. i am so pleased to see members protesting. this is something that definitely needs to be addressed, and there is a lot of people, not lobbyists, corporate feel -- people, real people that are totally against guns in everyone's hands. even the good guys have killed innocent people on our streets in this country as well as other countries. we put real gun, real guns and soldiers hands to kill men, women, children, innocent people that are not even involved in trying to provoke any situation that causes this country or any of us harm. putting the real guns and killing real people is a bad thing. we do that in this country and
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do not think anything bad about it. yet wayne wants to blame everything on violent fantasy games. that is just what they are, fantasy games. they are not giving real people. our country does not have a problem with us killing real people. i would like to know if he has any investment with black water academy for whenever their name is now. if he is wanting to put armed security forces in our school, then i think that is a good sign he probably had some sort of investment with these weapons manufacturers, military contractors, etc. i am so sick of a corporate lobbyist being such a huge influence on our elected officials that we put in office. they should represent us. we're the ones that need the voice. they are trying to show their voice, which is our constitutional rights. host: we will leave it there.
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michael on the independent line. caller: i am sitting here watching this. i am in west virginia, but i live in florida. i carry a concealed weapons permit. guns is not the issue. the issue is when you take away someone's right to own a gun you create more violence. it is like wayne said. video games. when i was a kid growing up, we did not have video games that shot up people. when we had guns we were not allowed to shoot them at a certain time. we did not sit on the couch and get obese and sit there and shoot at everything. we get out there and play. we of fun. we went hunting. i took a hunter's safety course and it enjoyed our life. today everyone wants to be dictated and told what they can do and cannot do. more people get killed in this country by tobacco and alcohol
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than a handgun. assault rifle is nothing. fully automatic, take them off the streets. everything else, these people want to blame everything else but their own irresponsibility. host: why do you carry a gun now? caller: because the society we live in today, you do not know when you are going to get robbed. check this that the florida. people get robbed sitting there trying to buy coffee. i got my concealed weapons permit after shooting happened in dunkin' donuts. when i go there, i think about it. if i am there and have a gun and know how to shoot it, i will pop that fight and head. -- that guy in the head. host: from "the associated press" religious leaders are
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calling them to enact gun- control and mental health reforms after the shooting in connecticut. leaders representing catholics, jews, a baptist, methodist, pickers and evangelicals and other faith gathered today of the washington national cathedral. it said it would mobilize to join in a national call in day to congress on february 5. they paused to listen to the bell tolled for each of the victims in connecticut. the victims included 20 young children. this happening on the same day for the senator for the hawaiian senator. -- the same day for the funeral for the hawaiian senator. final call, richard in arlington, virginia. caller: i am calling about the proposal with respect to the national database on mental health records.
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and call it adjudicated medical incompetence. persons that cannot buy guns or possess someone to transport them and so on. the problem is getting access to the various records. several, state, and local relating to mental health. there are 16 states that do not contribute to the national check system maintained by the fbi, because of state medical record privacy considerations and so on. similarly, at the federal level, getting access to meant so rigid military mental health records, the veterans administration mental health records and federal laws access to those records. it is a great idea, but will be
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very difficult to come up with a meaningful plan where you can build a database and give those folks that need access to the information, not just at the point of buying guns but for other federal and state and local law-enforcement purposes. it will take a lot of work and a lot of amendments to the federal and state law before you can build a comprehensive database. it should be done, but the nra approach to it is [inaudible] host: thank you for your calls. here is some of what is happening on the c-span network for the rest of the day. president obama and vice president joe biden are attending the memorial service. they are at the washington
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national cathedral today for the service. president obama is speaking right now. you can see live coverage on that on c-span to. the president later today is expected to nominate john kerry as the secretary of state. this makes the first move in a sweeping overhaul of the national security team heading into the second term. that announcement from the roosevelt term of the white house. we will have live coverage of that. before that, and its people lozi and a number of democratic lawmakers will brief reporters with the latest on the fiscal cliff negotiations. we will be live here on c-span starting at 1:00 eastern. the house has a pro-forma session at 2:00. we are guaranteed to cover that a 2:00 eastern. as we leave this segment, right now comments from a democrat member of congress on fiscal cliff developments. >> we want to welcome a creek where sent from washington
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state second congressional district. thank you for being with us. let me share with you from "the new york times" -- what is planned to happen? guest: disarray was a word i used yesterday as well when i'm stocking was that after with the announcement. what is going to happen? -- when i was talking with staff after the announcement. the president's offer is still a good offer, a balanced offer and deals with long-term deficit reduction. it has tax revenue. it has spending cuts, and i think it is the right framework for moving forward. i also think that the democratic
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party and the house should be able to find -- you need 218 votes total to pass something. i think we could easily find 109 boats in the democratic party and 109 in the republican party. that would be a majority of the caucus. you could put together enough votes to pass -- turned up some reduction package that is balanced. host: let me go back to what is in the president's plan. raising taxes on those above $400,000 per year. also, cutting 1.2 trillion dollars in federal spending. also, changing the inflation measure, cpi for social security benefits. guest: i personally do not support it, but i will look at a big package. we are not want to get a chance to vote on peaches -- pieces of a package if there is a large field. i think we have to look at the best long-term deficit reduction
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package. i think on social security we should start with the cap. right now we cap how much income that we tax for social security purposes at $110,000. but, if that is not what we get in the final deal, i am still going to look at the whole deal. frankly, democrats have a problem with the so-called chain cpi. i have heard from constituents with concerned about this. the change in the consumer price index applied to social security. so i do not support it. in the end, i think i will be shown a long-term deficit reduction package and have to decide with one book that deals with a lot of things, not just one issue. host: let me share with you the editorial from "the wall street journal."
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that would give everyone the chance to decompress backed down from the barricade. the alternative is the deal that perhaps will be negotiated in the senate that lesson that some of the tax-increase damage and then the house might follow. guest: i think that even if we get a big deal by the end of the year, by the end of next week -- host: is that even likely? guest: even if we do, i think we will still be debating taxes and spending into next year. none of this goes away in terms of the continuing debate in this country about taxes and spending. getting back to your question, isn't likely? the president has an offer on the table. it is a complete offer, balanced offer, long-term that is a
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package. the republicans last night put it to the president and senator reid in the senate to basically negotiate a solution to this. i do not know if that is the way it will turn out. levin told to be ready to come back in the session after kirk's -- after christmas and before the new year. certainly someone is leaving space for a solution. and whether that will be partial or a big one. i will say this, my district is 3,000 miles away from here. i would hazard a guess that there are few people between here and washington states who want congress to come back and even two months to rehash this all over again. they want a deal now. they want congress to get this done now because we have enough issues to work through here. host: let me put the scenario on the table that you and other democrats agreed to reforms in dealing with medicare and
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medicaid and social security, which is more than 40 percent of the overall budget. if democrats agree to that, would republicans agree to a tax increase, whether it is 400 or half a million or 1 million per year or more? guest: you have to ask republicans that. i think, frankly i think there is enough room talking to my republican colleagues, there are enough of them to get a broader package deal done. but there may not be a majority in the republican party. but i will say this, that is their business. they have to figure thatin privh my colleagues, folks -- there is enough of a critical mass to get a bigger deal done. host: why did the speaker's plan b fail last night? what happened? guest: i was not in the room but i think it is a challenge that tea party republicans -- they are not your mother's or
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father's republican party anymore. folks 30 years ago willing to make compromise without compromising their principles to move big issues forward to get resolved. as a moderate democrat, i think there are a lot of folks -- there are about 52 democrats in the new coalition who make up about a quarter of the democratic caucus. we want to move forward on a big package to get this done. we're looking for partners, all democrats are looking for partners on the other side of the aisle. there are not enough of them anymore. host: joseph has this on our twitter page -- guest: that sounds about right. based on what i can gather, the
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president and the speaker in terms of dollar amounts were anywhere from $200 billion to $400 billion. you are talking about a 10-year deal. about a $3.80 trillion budget. we cannot close a $400 billion -- $40 billion per year difference on a $3.80 trillion budget per year? i find that hard to believe that we cannot close that gap. host: another viewer has this to say -- louie is on the phone from arkansas on the democrats' line. good morning. go ahead. caller: can you hear me? i am curious.
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i paid my taxes from day one. i am 70 years old. i have not overspent my budget. i cannot understand why when the politicians are the ones who overspend, why are the american people the ones who have to pay more taxes to bail them out? giveoesn't the president away half of his salary? i don't understand that. on the gun issue, if you think guns kill people, put a loaded gun on a table and tell that to shoot somebody. it will not hurt anyone unless someone picks it up and pulls the trigger. guest: i will address the first question about congress sacrificing. i am not going to tell you members of congress have made sacrifices or enough sacrifices. the truth is, congress has not
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seen pay raises. we are subject to the across- the-board cuts. i am not saying that to make an excuse about congress. i think that what we have before us is a great challenge that we need to resolve. it is going to be wrapped up, i hope, in a solution that is balanced that includes spending cuts, new revenue, but also protect key investments in higher education, opportunities for our young adults, investment in infrastructure that creates jobs, investment in basic research which the private sector takes to create new products and innovation. while we are putting together a balanced approach, we have to be sure we maintain these things that the private sector
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takes and turns into something better with innovation which creates jobs in this country. that is the best long-term approach that i think is best for the country. in 10 years if we do this right, we will be a stronger country for it. we will have a sustainable budget and frankly we will be the envy of every other country in the world. host: from our facebook page, there is this comment -- guest: if you cut $3 trillion in spending now, if i get this right from that person, that will leave the federal budget at about $800 billion which is only about $250 billion more than the pentagon budget is
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today. if they are talking about a long-term $3 trillion debt as a production package over 10 years, i am one of the few members of congress who voted for a $4 trillion deficit reduction package over 10 years. i am not that far off from agreeing with the person who posted on facebook, but i do not think you get there with spending cuts alone. it takes revenue and spending cuts. spending cuts meeting as well as reductions in spending growth in some programs. host: we will go to the victor from ohio on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. can you hear me? good morning, congressman. one of the things i wanted to say it was i was a voter in the democrat party.
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the reason why i switched was simply because of conditions in the inner cities across this country. my problem with all of this is we are spending way too much money. i am responsible to go to work and bring home a paycheck knowing that spending more what i'm bringing in. that is the problem with the government. they want to spend money like it is readily available without any consequences. if we are spending over $300 billion a month in expenditures, we are running a $1.20 trillion deficit every year. that is unsustainable. we need to get under that $200 million in tax revenues that we
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collect every month because at the end of the day, this is poor stewardship. there is not one family or business that can operate the way our federal government is operating. it is absolutely criminal in my mind. thank you. guest: i hear your frustration and the same frustration from folks in my district as well. i think it is helpful to recognize that if we are carrying a $1.20 trillion deficit every year, that is as you said unsustainable over the long term. that is why it is important that we take a long term, balanced approach to deficit reduction. it is not a deficit that is going to be closed in one budget. it is a deficit that can be reduced over the next 10 years with a long-term approach.
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you get to the point where the economy is actually growing faster than the debt that you are accumulating. that is the definition of a sustainable budget. it may not get to where a lot of folks seem to want to go where it is a perfectly balanced budget but it is certainly a sustainable budget. over the long term we would have done what no country today is doing. we would have taken care of our fiscal house. that is the definition of fiscal responsibility. host: our conversation with congressman rick larsen. you can also send us your comments on our facebook page. one of our viewers saying --
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guest: i would certainly agree with the idea that there is a group of tea party republicans who are forcing the republicans to go over the fiscal cliff into a chasm of what i think is fiscal irresponsibility. i do not think it is in the best long-term interest of our country or our credibility in the world. it seems where that is where the new tea party wants to take us. i hope i am wrong. i hope the president's last offer from tuesday -- if we can start from there, there may be time to get something done. we would have to move very quickly and members of congress would have to come back to washington, d.c., but we should because we have work to do.
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host: sean says -- was this a wasted week or is this part of the process? guest: history will define whether it was wasted or part of the process. i have been in the house of representatives for 12 years and there have been times where the majority whether republicans or democrats -- they have to go through these hoops to get to where you need to be. maybe this is one of those times. it sure seems to me that the last three days have been wasted time when negotiation could have continued rather than walking away from the table and walking away from washington, d.c. host: tony is on the phone on our democrats' line. good morning. are you there? we will try one more time for
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tony. will go on to kansas. jeremy is on the phone. caller: the constitution gives congress the right to coin our money. the treasury still does that, but congress almost 100 years ago outsourced the value of credits to a banking cartel in the name of the federal reserve. in two days, the 23rd is the 99-year contract the federal reserve is up. if we look at it, at least half if not two-thirds of our debt in this country is owed to the private banking cartel that owns the federal reserve bank. we pay the interest to create our own money.
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in terms of the fiscal cliff metaphor, what we have is a group of people who rob the bank in a car, congress decided to jump in the backseat, headed towards a cliff, the american people are on horses chasing behind, but the value is in the american people and our government. we should not renew their contracts. host: thank you for the call. this comment from one of our viewers -- they said basically, we are broke. close homeland security and half of the military bases overseas. your response? guest: with regard to the federal reserve, i respectfully disagree with your analogy and your description of the federal reserve. if folks out there listening this morning think congress
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would do a better job of monetary policy given how we're handling this policy currently, i would love to hear from you because congress is not and should not be in a position to handle monetary policy. having an independent federal reserve is extremely important for the financial credibility of the united states. if this contract is up on the 23rd, i think we ought to renew it. the second thing i will point out from the gentleman on facebook or e-mail, the united states is not broke. we're not broke. we are paying our bills. what we need to do is ensure the long-term fiscal credibility of this country is still strong. that takes a long term deficit reduction package that is balanced, sends a clear signal
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to the markets and investors whether they are private, institutions, or other countries that america does take care of its fiscal house. that is what we need to do in my view to ensure the long-term fiscal credibility of the united states. the whole idea that america is broke, i am not going to relay that message to anybody. host: good morning. caller: can you hear me? i have a few points that have to be raised. why do you insist on raising the social security cap? why is that your knee-jerk reaction rather than increasing the severity of means testing? that would be much more fruitful way to deal with the program. same thing could be said for medicare.
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you should explain to the people that the democrats do not want to do that because then there is a chance that the program will be viewed as a welfare program, and welfare programs do not have any support up on capitol hill. they are afraid the limits will be dropped and dropped and dropped until there is no support for the program at all. second of all, i think it is a good idea to go off the fiscal cliff because then the american people will understand you want all this stuff from your government, all of this interstate highway system, free medicare, social security benefits, airports, high-speed rail, you have to pay for them. then we will see just how eager people are to have this big government. third of all, concerning the debt ceiling debate, i am
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looking at the constitution, article 1, section 8, line 2. the congress should have power to borrow money on the credit of the united states. congressman, you and i both know that the president does not have the right as per the constitution to raise the debt limit of the united states unilaterally. when it comes to this issue of global default, if that was the case states all over the country would have defaulted. what has happened was when they were not able to raise taxes or any more money, the secretary of
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>> thank you very much. last year, when the tea party republicans stymied the efforts of the deficit reduction commission committee that we call the super committee, we set at the time a definitive election to settle the matter.
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the american people spoke clearly and i think decisively. he won a landslide victory in the electro college and won the popular vote by more than 4.5 million votes. democrats in the senate added to their numbers. here in the people's house, more than 1.5 million more americans voted for democrats that voted for republicans. the republican leadership continues to exercise extreme
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partisanship in defiance of the will of the people. i am hopeful the spirit of the season will take called over the next several days and we can come back here after christmas. we can come back with less partisan extremism and work together to achieve hon. compromises that will arrest the wealth gap and create more fair and balanced approach is to address in our nation's most urgent challenges. with that i would like to yield to our distinguished by share joe crowley of new york. >> in politics, i believe it is that a zero sum game. it ought not be. we need to work together. there is no partisan path toward
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a solution here. any solution facing our nation's problems must be done in a bipartisan way. neither side its 100% in what they're trying to achieve. what we saw last that was really an abdication of that process. i think the president has been working in good faith with speaker boehner, continues to want to do that. it is my hope as the leader said that we can -- that they can come back to the table and continue to work with the president to work out a solution. but what we've seen right now is something that we as members of congress have observed from our side of the aisle for the last four years. the republican caucus, whether the majority -- a minority or now majority, refused to work with the president and our side of the aisle. the american people have spoken otherwise. they want us to work together. we have a chance to do that before the end of the 112th congress will lead into the
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113th congress working in a more bipartisan way. with that, i would like to turn it over to the ranking member of the budget committee, our great friend and ally in this fight for the american people. >> thank you, joe. it is great to be here with our colleagues. this morning, speaker boehner said the following "the house did not take up the tax bill last night because we did not have the votes to pass it. it is not the outcome i wanted. that was the will of the house." that is was speaker bonner said, i believe, from the podium this morning. what we're doing today is calling upon the speaker to put something on the floor of the house that can pass the house, that it's the number of votes necessary on a bipartisan basis. so he he should bring a compromise, bipartisan bill to the floor of the house and let
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the house worked its will. the house has said no to speaker boehner's plan b. it is time for the house to say yes to a balanced, compromised bill. at the very least, the speaker should take up the bill the senate has already passed on a bipartisan basis. there is nothing from him taking up that bill today, tomorrow or the next day. nothing in the law or the rules of the house. if he takes it up, he will allow the house to work its will. we call upon the speaker to allow the house to work its will. as it did last night in saying no to plan b, this house will say yes. we believe, to a bipartisan compromise bill and say yes to the senate passed a bill that is
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already pending. with that, and want to turn it over to our good friend and colleague steve israel from new york. >> i have been in government and politics when you say my way or the highway, you usually end up on the highway. they need to turn around -- plan b may have failed. this time to get to plan c. that is compromise, comprehensive. we urge our republican colleagues to come back to washington, get to work on something that is a compromise, a basis of what should be the president's compromise. every time we've offered a compromise, the republicans have gone in the other direction.
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when we were here, they were there. when we were in this direction, they left town. that is no way to get the compromise that is comprehensive. we urge them to return to work, returned to washington and avoid this fiscal cliff. but that, and turn it back to our leader. >> thank you. i was interested the speaker said last night the house did not take up the bill. that it was the will of the house. it was not the will of the house. you don't know with the will of the house is until you bring a bill to the floor. i do believe there would have been bipartisan support for the 250 proposal that we have as a discharge petition. i think that is why they did not bring it out. they knew republicans would vote
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for it. any questions? >> you mentioned in your opening remarks the speaker will bring the president's proposal to the floor given what happened last night, is any appetite to change the proposal to take some things out of it to your caucus does not like? >> i think what we should do is consider it. the best thing to do is to go to the table, that the speaker -- the fastest thing we can do is bring it to the floor for consideration. what i said in my remarks is to bring it up so we can iron out our differences. i really think that can be done. you have to remember when the president came forth with a new proposal this week, it was on the strength of how close the speaker and the president had been and now the president came closer to the speaker's position in terms of spending cuts and in
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terms of tax rates. and so it seems like every time we get close the goal post either changes, or they just there to a different field altogether. many in our caucus do not like every aspect of the president's proposal, and if they did, then the republicans would probably reject it. it is a compromise. there is pain on both sides. that is really a very good place to start. to my colleagues want to add anything to that? >> your caucus have been pre clear that you're all going to vote against plan b. speaker boehner said this was an effort to do something to avert possibly going off the cliff. if these tax increases last without a vote, how to respond in terms of how the house democrats are also at fault, being so strongly against this plan be both?
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>> first of all, we're here for the middle class. the bill that would have come to the floor was a direct assault on middle-class. and the idea of the speaker says, well, i'm giving additional tax cuts to the wealthiest people in the country while i raise taxes on the middle-class, well, i don't think that is a very good idea and that is how i would answer it. i'm sure my colleagues may want to add to that. >> the bill had no chance of passage to the united states senate and was not going to be signed by the president, therefore, we were concerned we were wasting 72 to 96, perhaps 120 hours at a time when the cliff confronts us in just a few days read we are action on behalf of working americans is essential. in order for action to occur, that is what are referred to mr. gingrich comments, in order for
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action to occur, we have a bill that can get to the u.s. senate and be signed by the president of the united states. we did not want to waste another 96 hours. so i am pleased this was defeated. it was defeated not on the house floor, but the republican conference. apparently, pretty heated conference. i would urge speaker boehner to sit with president obama and reach a compromise that will be a reasonable one and will confront the fiscal challenges that confront our country, which has all been about. and confront doing some of the things that are essential for us to do between now and january 2. nobody wants the sequester the go into place. most of us do not want to see unemployment insurance lapse, for those who are relying on a to support themselves, and the others that need to be addressed.
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a partisan bill was being taken board. in my opinion, it was more to give them a place to stand instead of legislation that would give relief to america. >> it is the important for us to take a look -- i'm not expert on these matters, but i can tell you i read the sequester was being postponed or gotten rid of. by getting rid of mortgage deductions. by cutting food stamps, by getting rid of unemployment insurance, this is a strange
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time of year to be making those kinds of proposals. those are the things that we are objecting to. we want this thing to be fair and balanced, and i don't think it is fair to balance this budget on the backs of those people who can ill afford those kinds of cuts. >> taking it to the point that he did, which was about the tax cuts and about the reconciliation bill that they had on the floor, it was a terrible combination because not only are you giving like reverse robin hood, a $50,000 tax cut to people making over $10 million a year, at a cost of about $1,000 to middle-income tax cuts who have to pay $1,000 more because of changes in the law that affect them, but the same time, yet this reconciliation bill that said, 20 million children would have rick -- reduced
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nutrition and food benefits. at one point, 3 billion or 4 million seniors would not have meals on wheels. the list goes on. some people say, why can you come to an agreement was struck well, if you want to come to an agreement, you can. but if you're coming close to an agreement and then you say we're taking food out of the mouths of babies and seniors to give tax cuts to the wealthiest and tax bills to the middle class as well as keeping hundreds of millions of dollars more on to the national debt because we really don't believe in government so that is the route we want to go, it is hard to come to an agreement. but i believe there are enough republicans to believe in government, who do want to reach a solution and that is why we are hopeful that something can happen. yes, sir. >> i want to ask a question off topic about the nra's press
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conference. >> we can come back to that. >> do you believe there are 120 republicans or 122 republicans that are willing to vote for a deal that democrats and the president can back? and what other concessions beyond what the president has already offered are democrats in the house willing to put on the table? >> in return for what? >> 120 republicans. >> no, no, no. the package, it is not about us, but what it means to america's great middle-class. when we did the much talked- about iraq vote that i brought to the floor, there were 86 democrats over 140 democrat -- 86 democrats voting for and 140 democrats voting against, 60% of my caucus against what i brought to the floor.
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the 120 is not the number. the number is, what does this mean to middle income families? >> again, the president has already met republicans more than halfway. i think people who have been following these negotiations recognize the president has already moved remarkably over a short time. remember, he are rich the proposed revenue at 1.6 -- $1.6 trillion, and those who have been falling, it was less than the simpson-bowles commission, and in the president dropped that from $1.6 trillion to $1.2 trillion, and has reduced the amount of cuts is prepared -- increase the amount of cuts he's prepared to make.
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even higher number if you look at the cuts taken over the last year, including some very controversial provisions that many of us in our caucus have serious reservations about, but it is an indication that the president was prepared to meet the republicans more than halfway. so i think the president has struck the balance. i think speaker boehner should bring up a bill like that that reflects the kind of balance and compromise, just as peter nancy pelosi did when she was speaker of the house -- just as leader nancy pelosi did when she was speaker of the house. democrats and republicans should work together. it is important speaker put the good of the country above republican house caucus politics. >> on this subject, then we will go to just one more on this
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subject because we have to go to work. >> [indiscernible] characterized as the bottom line, the president's bottom line. has he gone as far as he can go? >> are you talking about the next proposal? >> the last one. >> this is so out of context for me. i don't know. i think if we can come to the table, iron out differences, that is how we will find out what everybody's bottom-line is. the real bottom line is, it is the american people are working today, and where is the congress? why are we not finished this task? we have had week after week of two-day sessions, and now we're leaving our perhaps relieving, it is unknown, nobody knows what is going on around here in terms of schedule -- but the fact is, we're coming to the end of the
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line in terms of this year. the bottom line is, we have got to get it done. we have to avoid the cliff, avoid downgrading our credit rating. we have to avoid deep cuts that will be undermining our investments in the future whether it is infrastructure, education -- by the way, those are the kinds of investments that bring more money to the treasury. in conversations i had with the present last night, i know he believes we must avoid -- avoid the fiscal cliff and get something done. i cannot explain to anybody what path the republicans took this week was about. what was that about? as i said before, what were they trying to prove?
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i know that republicans would vote for it, and that is why they pulled it. that is why they have this $50,000 christmas gift to people making over $1 million a year and paid by a $1,000 increase on the middle class, so when the president asks how you see this from your perspective there, i would say to him what i say to you -- i don't know what their bottom line is. i don't know if they know what their bottom line is. it would be interesting for them to tell me what their bottom line is. if their bottom line is what i describe about the bill yesterday -- $50,000 to those who make over $1 million, $1,000 for the middle class, if you are a child needs access to food, it is greatly reduced.
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it is not response will and not clear to see what the path might be, but i still have confidence in the speaker and some in his caucus for that ideology and doctrine approaches to this, but when you come to the table, you have a responsibility to legislate. >> one congressman called on congress to pass legislation wanting armed officers in each school. that would cost about $5 million. do any of you think that is a good plan?
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>> i think it is an incredibly false notion to think that simply by having armed guards in our schools that somehow that will deter someone who is dead on going to try to take not only the lives of other people but in this case and other cases as well. i think that is the exact opposite direction the american people want us to move in. they want us to look at the issue holistic lee as it pertains to the issue of guns and who has access to them as well as the mental health issues we are facing in this country. i think we need to look at this in a holistic and more rational way. i think the way the nra is approaching this now is irrational, and i think the american people understand that. i think people were expecting a completely response, and i think what we are looking for from the nra is a more collaborative
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approach. what can you bring? what can we talk about today that can help us move the country forward? >> i do not believe those remarks represent anywhere near as significant portion of america. i do not believe, frankly, that they represent necessarily the majority of use of responsible members of the national rifle association who want guns to hunt, want guns to protect their home and their house, but the recommendation of an arms escalation in america is not, i think, a solution that the american people believe makes common sense. i am very hopeful we will go in a direction which will say that these weapons of mass killing capability will be limited. magazines will be limited and
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that, yes, we will make sure that people who have access to dangerous weapons in fact are mentally healthy to the extent that we can get there, but i do not think that those remarks, which i think were unfortunate, represent even the majority of his own members. i would be surprised if that were the case. they certainly do not represent the views of the overwhelming majority of the american public. >> i was in a funeral service for senator inouye when mr. lapierre made his remarks, so i did not hear fully the context, but i did hear that he also said one way to stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun. we know this is complicated.
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we also know that the high 90% of people who have been diagnosed with or have a mental illness do not engage in violent activity. we are talking about all of a sudden it is the mentally ill that are responsible for this -- no, it is not. there are some people who have impaired judgment and who may be mentally ill, but we are talking about another small percentage of american people. that does not mean we should not do something to address the issue of mental illness and how we care for it. that is why we passed in mental health parity bill when patrick kennedy was here, and that is why we have the affordable care act. it is very important. but for the nra and others to sort of shield themselves by saying it is the mentally ill or something, and therefore, we have to have more armed cops in the schools or more guns in school -- where?
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in a teacher's desk? "with a minute, man with a gun, i have it locked up someplace. let me go get it." it does not make sense. we have been having meetings about the reduction of violence in our society. the challenge we have is addressing mental illness and its relationship to every issue, and also the fact that as you know, as we gather here over 130 democrats at least are co- sponsors of the legislation to ban the high capacity what we call us all magazines that enable somebody to have 30 shots instead of 10. 10 seems like a lot to me, but at least it gives somebody a fighting chance. all these things are being considered. a person who is a hunter, or an injured vietnam veteran, mike thompson, to coordinate, channel
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the energy of the caucus will be met with the youth violence community the other night. to hear what some of the concerns were. you know what it all kept coming back to? we understand the issues about mental health and youth violence, but you have got to recommend -- you have got to get rid of these high-performance guns. magazines. whatever you call them. i call them a clear a -- a clip, but i was told it was a magazine. whenever you want to call it, very dangerous. thoughtfully and carefully, we approach this. >> we leave this briefing to go live now to president obama, is expected to make a personnel announcement this afternoon.
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>> we have begun a new era of american leadership. ended the war in iraq, put the al qaeda corp. on the road to defeat, and we are winding down in afghanistan. we strengthen our alliances in asia, forge new coalitions to meet global challenges, and stood up for human dignity. we still, of course, face great challenges, but today, i can say with pride that the united states is safer, stronger, and more respected in the world. in this work, i have been grateful for an extraordinary national security team. tom has been a part of that, and i am grateful to him. one of the most important people in this transformation has been our outstanding secretary of state, my friend,
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secretary hillary clinton. she wanted very much to be here today, but she continues to recuperate. i had a chance to talk to her earlier today, and she is in good spirits and could not be more excited about the announcement that i am making. over the last four years, she has been everywhere. both in terms of her travelers -- travels, and threw her tireless work to restore our global leadership. she is looking forward to getting back to work, and i am looking for to paying tribute to her extraordinary service in the days to come. today, though, i am looking ahead to my second term. i am very proud to announce my choice for america's next secretary of state -- john kerry. in a sense, john's entire life has prepared him for this role. as the son of a foreign service officer, he has a deep respect for the men and women of the state department, the role they
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play in advancing our interests and values, the risks that they undertake, and the sacrifices that they make along with their families. having served with valor in vietnam, he understands that we have a responsibility to use american power wisely, especially our military power. and he knows from personal experience that when we send our troops into harm's way, we must give them the sound strategy, the mission, and the resources that they need to get the job done. in an extraordinarily distinguished senate career as chairman of the foreign relations committee, john has played a central role in every major foreign policy debate for nearly 30 years. as we turn the page on a decade of war, he understands we have to harness all elements of american power and ensure that they are working together. diplomatic and development, economic and political, military and intelligence as well as the power of our values, which
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inspires so many people around the world. as john has said, we are an exceptional nation not because we say we are, but because we do exceptional things. i would say the one of the more exceptional things we have seen in recent decades was when john helped lead the way along with folks like john mccain and others to restore our diplomatic ties with vietnam. when he returned to the country where he and so many others have fought so long ago, it sent a powerful message of progress and of healing. over 20 years, john has earned the confidence and respect of leaders around the world. he will not need a lot of on- the-job training. i think it is fair to say that few individuals know as many presidents and prime ministers or grasp our foreign policies as firmly as john kerry. this makes him a perfect choice to guide american diplomacy in
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the years ahead. on a personal level, john has been a great friend. i have appreciated john's partnership in helping to advance so many of my foreign policy priorities, including the ratification of the start treaty. i call on his talents and diplomatic skill on many occasions, from sudan to the situation in afghanistan. each time he has been exemplary. i also have to say thanks because john invited the young illinois state senator to address the national convention in boston. i was proud to serve with him on the foreign relations committee and the tutelage of joe biden, and where we all became friends. but of course, nothing brings two people closer together than weeks of debate prep. [laughter]
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john, i look forward to working with you instead of debating you. finally, i want to thank theresa. as someone who came to this country as an immigrant, she understands the shining values that america represents to the world. as a foreign interpreted to the united nations, she appreciates how our interest could be advanced in partnership with others. thank you so much for being john's partner in his next endeavor. i have to say -- i think i speak for john and joe and myself -- we just left danny inouye's funeral, a man who exemplified america's best traditions. i know it is not easy to leave the senate you love. i think it is fair to say there will be some great challenges ahead. an uncertain world will continue to test our nation. even with all the challenges that we face, i have never been more confident, more optimistic
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that if we act with wisdom and purpose and are guided by our values and we remind what binds us together as americans. the united states will continue to lead in this world for our lifetimes. i am confident the senate will confirm you quickly. i guess you will not be able to appear and preside at the same time, so we will have to figure out how that works, but i know you will be an outstanding secretary of state. thank you so much. [applause]
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>> mr. president, the fiscal cliff -- is there going to be a deal? [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> live in the roosevelt room of the white house, president obama nominating senator john kerry as his next secretary of state. joined by vice president joe biden and senator john kerry's wife. if confirmed, he would take the helm from outgoing senator secretary hillary clinton, who long ago announced plans to leave. senator kerry expected to be easily approved by his colleagues on capitol hill. before this announcement, we showed you house leader pelosi joined by democratic leaders updating fiscal cliff negotiations, addressing the cancellation of the vote on republicans' plan be bill last night and looking for to negotiations. house speaker john boehner sent congressional leaders home after that break down.
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the house does have a pro forma session scheduled for this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. eastern -- 2:00 p.m. eastern. we are committed to covering that. there's been no indication of when house members will return. again, that pro forma session coming up in about 15 minutes. we will have live coverage. right now, though, house speaker banner and majority leader -- house speaker boehner and majority leader cantor on the bill last night. >> good morning, everyone. as you know, the house did not take up the bill last night because we did not have the votes to pass it. it was not the out, wanted, but it was the will of the house. unless the president and congress take action, tax rates will go on every american taxpayer, and devastating defense cuts will go into effect in 10 days. the house has already passed bills addressing the fiscal cliff. we passed a bill replacing the
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president's sequester was responsible spending cuts -- with responsible spending cuts. we passed a bill to stop all the tax hikes on american people scheduled to take place january 1, and we did that on august 1, and we propose plans over and over again that democrats used to support, but now they will not. i do not want taxes to go up. republicans do not want taxes to go up. we only run the house. democrats continue to run washington. with the president has proposed so far simply will not do anything to solve our spending problem. he wants more spending and more tax hikes that will hurt our economy. they simply will not deal honestly with entitlement reform and the big issues facing our country. we need significant spending cuts and real tax reform to address our long-term debt problem and pave the way for long-term growth and real growth
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in jobs in our country. we will continue to work with our colleagues and our house and senate on a planned protest families and small businesses from the fiscal cliff. >> again, i think we saw last night yet the next chapter in this sub of trying to resolve the situation of the fiscal cliff -- this saga of trying to resolve the situation of the fiscal clip. we have been committed to try to do something about the spending problem in washington and the mounting debt that has resulted. we stand ready to continue in dialogue with this president to fix this problem. i hope you see that our colleagues on the other side of the capital can do likewise, can get serious to try to address the real problem with spending so we can get on about the business of growing this economy and get people back to
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work. >> a lot of the arguments he made today [inaudible] rescue all but a fraction of taxpayers from a tax hike. >> listen, the president and i have had serious come recisions. i told the president on monday, these were my bottom lines. the president told me his numbers -- $1.30 trillion in new revenues. $850 billion in spending cuts was his bottom line. that he could not go any further. so we see a situation where because of the political divide in the country, because of the divide here in washington, trying to bridge these differences has been difficult.
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i will guarantee you this would have been done decades before, but we have to find a way to
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accuse them of raising taxes. merry christmas, everyone. thank you. house republican leaders -- >> house republican leaders earlier today on the breakdown of the plan b fiscal cliff legislation. a quick reminder that for all things related to the fiscal cliff, we have a special web page setup. there is a live twitter stream of comments from viewers and reporters. we also have video of related events and a resource area with
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documents and links. that is all at /fiscalcliff. >> if you work for them, you would get a mercurial, sometimes generous, sometimes overbearing, sometimes almost cool boss. he did not know how to apologize. men of his age and class -- you know, they are not going to apologize to a young private secretary or typists. he had a way of sort of turning the tables, and his version of an apology would actually be to say, "actually, i am is very kind man, and you are doing a very good job today," but the issue was never settled. he always had to get the last word in. a couple thomson's men were
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slightly wounded. churchill did not like to be touched, and he said, "thompson, do not do that." thompson said he should not be out there, that it was dangerous. churchill said he was only doing it because he knew he loved to. >> senate, and extended 90- minute "q&a" with paul reid, chosen to complete the final volume of william manchester's "churchill: the last lion." shortly, we will go live to the u.s. house pro forma session. members were sent home last night by speaker banner after no progress was made -- by speaker john dinner after no progress was made in plan b legislation -- by speaker john boehner. now live
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